from The American Bible Society:
John 16:16-33(Good News Translation)
Come Together in Faith and Proclaim God’s Love and Mercy
John 16:16-33: The disciples are unable to comprehend what Jesus tells them about his impending suffering and death. Jesus tells them that they will be sad for awhile, but that their sadness will turn into gladness.
Today's Scripture: John 16:33b
“The world will make you suffer. But be brave! I have defeated the world!”
16 “In a little while you will not see me any more, and then a little while later you will see me.” 17 Some of his disciples asked among themselves, What does this mean? He tells us that in a little while we will not see him, and then a little while later we will see him; and he also says, “It is because I am going to the Father.” 18What does this “a little while” mean? We don't know what he is talking about! ” 19Jesus knew that they wanted to question him, so he said to them, “I said, “In a little while you will not see me, and then a little while later you will see me.” Is this what you are asking about among yourselves? 20 I am telling you the truth: you will cry and weep, but the world will be glad; you will be sad, but your sadness will turn into gladness. 21 When a woman is about to give birth, she is sad because her hour of suffering has come; but when the baby is born, she forgets her suffering, because she is happy that a baby has been born into the world. 22 That is how it is with you: now you are sad, but I will see you again, and your hearts will be filled with gladness, the kind of gladness that no one can take away from you. 23 When that day comes, you will not ask me for anything. I am telling you the truth: the Father will give you whatever you ask of him in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your happiness may be complete. 25 I have used figures of speech to tell you these things. But the time will come when I will not use figures of speech, but will speak to you plainly about the Father. 26 When that day comes, you will ask him in my name; and I do not say that I will ask him on your behalf, 27 for the Father himself loves you. He loves you because you love me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I did come from the Father, and I came into the world; and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father. ” 29 Then his disciples said to him, “Now you are speaking plainly, without using figures of speech. 30 We know now that you know everything; you do not need to have someone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God. ” 31 Jesus answered them, “Do you believe now? 32 The time is coming, and is already here, when all of you will be scattered, each of you to your own home, and I will be left all alone. But I am not really alone, because the Father is with me. 33 I have told you this so that you will have peace by being united to me. The world will make you suffer. But be brave! I have defeated the world! ”
Jesus uses the image of childbirth to explain the temporary sadness the disciples will experience which will be followed by gladness “that no one can take away” (verses 21, 22). How does Jesus reassure the disciples? What is the victory that Jesus speaks of? In verse 28, Jesus tells the disciples that he is leaving the world and returning to God the Father. He came from God and was sent into the world to make God known (John 1:18; 14:7), and his death and return to God will complete his work (John 17:4; 19:30). How has Jesus revealed God to you?
Dear Jesus, you suffered and died for my sake, but God raised you to life and you defeated sin and death so that all who believe in you would have eternal life. You have defeated the world and turned sadness into joy – a joy that no one can take away. Thank you, Lord Jesus! Amen.
Those whose are burdened with sadness and grief