John 16 is a continuation of what Jesus letting the disciples know what is coming. It is a combination of a heads up warning and a promise of a blessing.
Jesus lets them know why he is giving them a heads up warning in John 16:1
All this I have told you so that you will not fall away.
If we only make promises of a wonderful life because of trusting Jesus, when hard times come people might lose heart. While it is true there will be a wonderful life, it may not happen until we enter eternity in heaven. Jesus wanted the disciples and us to know that people will oppose and persecute us because of him, so when it happens, we will not be weakened in our faith.
They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me.
The disciples were put out of synagogues and most of them were martyred for sharing the news about Jesus. Throughout history, Christians have been put in jail and killed for their faith. It still happens today in our ‘modern’ world. In some countries Christians are killed by those who think they are doing God’s will. In some places Christians are killed or put in jail by people who think it is the right thing to do. In the western world, governments are increasingly infringing on our religious freedom.
Why didn’t Jesus tell them about it when they first signed on to follow him?
I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you
Because he was with them.
Now for the blessing part of Jesus’s discourse. The promise of the Holy Spirit.
But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
The Holy Spirit is our advocate as is Jesus. The plan all along was for Jesus to die for us, defeat death through his resurrection, and ascend to heaven. Then he would send the Holy Spirit. Think about how all of that unfolded in real time. It all happened in a little over 40 days.
For all who believe in Jesus, the Holy Spirit is given when we believe in Jesus. The Holy Spirit is a guarantee of our future eternal blessing.
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
The Holy Spirit teaches us as Jesus said.
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
The Holy Spirit will always work to glorify Jesus.
He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.
So how this balances out is in this life we may have problems. We might be persecuted in various ways. BUT we have the Holy Spirit to counsel us, teach us, guide us, and is our guarantee of our future eternal blessing.
The question for us is whether we view all of what God has in store for us as being worth far more than the temporary difficulties in this life.
Thank you for reading. God Bless.