That in me ye might have peace - I give you this warning as another proof that I know all things, and to the end that ye may look to me alone for peace and happiness. The peace of God is ever to be understood as including all possible blessedness - light, strength, comfort, support, a sense of the Divine favor, unction of the Holy Spirit, purification of heart, etc., etc., and all these to be enjoyed in Christ.
In the world ye shall have tribulation - Or, as most of the very best MSS. read, εχετε, ye have - the tribulation is at hand; ye are just about to be plunged into it.
But be of good cheer - Do not despond on account of what I have said: the world shall not be able to overcome you, how severely soever it may try you.
I have overcome the world - I am just now going by my death to put it and its god to the rout.
My apparent weakness shall be my victory; my ignominy shall be my glory; and the victory which the world, the devil, and my adversaries in general, shall appear to gain over me, shall be their own lasting defeat, and my eternal triumph. - Fear not!
Luther writing to Philip Melancthon, quotes this verse, and adds these remarkable words: "Such a saying as this is worthy to be carried from Rome to Jerusalem upon one's knees."
One of the grand subjects in this chapter, the mediation of Christ, is but little understood by most Christians. Christ having made an atonement for the sin of the world, has ascended to the right hand of the Father, and there he appears in the presence of God for us. In approaching the throne of grace, we keep Jesus as our sacrificial victim, continually in view: our prayers should be directed through him to the Father; and, under the conviction that his passion and death have purchased every possible blessing for us, we should, with humble confidence, ask the blessings we need; and, as in him the Father is ever well pleased, we should most confidently expect the blessings he has purchased. We may consider, also, that his appearance before the throne, in his sacrificial character, constitutes the great principle of mediation or intercession. He has taken our nature into heaven; in that he appears before the throne: this, without a voice, speaks loudly for the sinful race of Adam, for whom it was assumed, and on whose account it was sacrificed. On these grounds every penitent and every believing soul may ask and receive, and their joy be complete. By the sacrifice of Christ we approach God; through the mediation of Christ God comes down to man.
In me - In my presence, and in the aid which I shall render you by the Holy Spirit.
In the world - Among the men to whom you are going. You must expect to be persecuted, afflicted, tormented.
I have overcome the world - He overcame the prince of this world by his death, John 12:31. He vanquished the great foe of man, and triumphed over all that would work our ruin. He brought down aid and strength from above by his death; and by procuring for us the friendship of God and the influence of the Spirit; by his own instructions and example; by revealing to us the glories of heaven, and opening our eyes to see the excellence of heavenly things, he has furnished us with the means of overcoming all our enemies, and of triumphing in all our temptations. See the notes at John 14:19; also Romans 8:34-37; 1 John 4:4; 1 John 5:4; Revelation 12:11. Luther said of this verse “that it was worthy to be carried from Rome to Jerusalem upon one‘s knees.” the world is a vanquished enemy; Satan is a humbled foe; and all that believers have to do is to put their trust in the Captain of their salvation, putting on the whole armor of God, assured that the victory is theirs, and that the church shall yet shine forth fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners, Song of Song of Solomon 6:10 .
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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 16:4". "Barnes' Notes on the New Testament". "www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-16.html. 1870.
In His parting conversation with His disciples on the night before the crucifixion the Saviour made no reference to the suffering that He had endured and must yet endure. He did not speak of the humiliation that was before Him, but sought to bring to their minds that which would strengthen their faith, leading them to look forward to the joys that await the overcomer. He rejoiced in the consciousness that He could and would do more for His followers than He had promised; that from Him would flow forth love and compassion, cleansing the soul temple, and making men like Him in character; that His truth, armed with the power of the Spirit, would go forth conquering and to conquer. AA 23.1
“These things I have spoken unto you,” He said, “that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. Christ did not fail, neither was He discouraged; and the disciples were to show a faith of the same enduring nature. They were to work as He had worked, depending on Him for strength. Though their way would be obstructed by apparent impossibilities, yet by His grace they were to go forward, despairing of nothing and hoping for everything. AA 23.2
Christ had finished the work that was given Him to do. He had gathered out those who were to continue His work among men. And He said: “I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as We are.” “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one; ... I in them and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.” John 17:10, 11, 20-23. AA 24.1Read in context »
Shortly before His crucifixion Christ had bequeathed to His disciples a legacy of peace. “Peace I leave with you,” He said, “My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27. This peace is not the peace that comes through conformity to the world. Christ never purchased peace by compromise with evil. The peace that Christ left His disciples is internal rather than external and was ever to remain with His witnesses through strife and contention. AA 84.1
Christ said of Himself, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” Matthew 10:34. The Prince of Peace, He was yet the cause of division. He who came to proclaim glad tidings and to create hope and joy in the hearts of the children of men, opened a controversy that burns deep and arouses intense passion in the human heart. And He warns His followers, “In the world ye shall have tribulation.” “They shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for My name's sake.” “Ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.” John 16:33; Luke 21:12, 16. AA 84.2
This prophecy has been fulfilled in a marked manner. Every indignity, reproach, and cruelty that Satan could instigate human hearts to devise, has been visited upon the followers of Jesus. And it will be again fulfilled in a marked manner; for the carnal heart is still at enmity with the law of God, and will not be subject to its commands. The world is no more in harmony with the principles of Christ today than it was in the days of the apostles. The same hatred that prompted the cry, “Crucify Him! crucify Him!” the same hatred that led to the persecution of the disciples, still works in the children of disobedience. The same spirit which in the Dark Ages consigned men and women to prison, to exile, and to death, which conceived the exquisite torture of the Inquisition, which planned and executed the Massacre of St. Bartholomew, and which kindled the fires of Smithfield, is still at work with malignant energy in unregenerate hearts. The history of truth has ever been the record of a struggle between right and wrong. The proclamation of the gospel has ever been carried forward in this world in the face of opposition, peril, loss, and suffering. AA 84.3Read in context »
“They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth forever. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about His people from henceforth even forever.” “He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in His sight.” Psalm 125:1-3; 72:14. AA 86.1
“The Lord of hosts shall defend them; ... the Lord their God shall save them in that day as the flock of His people: for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon His land.” Zechariah 9:15, 16. AA 86.2Read in context »
Let him who is struggling against the power of appetite look to the Saviour in the wilderness of temptation. See Him in His agony upon the cross, as He exclaimed, “I thirst.” He has endured all that it is possible for us to bear. His victory is ours. DA 123.1
Jesus rested upon the wisdom and strength of His heavenly Father. He declares, “The Lord God will help Me; therefore shall I not be confounded: ... and I know that I shall not be ashamed.... Behold, the Lord God will help Me.” Pointing to His own example, He says to us, “Who is among you that feareth the Lord, ... that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.” Isaiah 50:7-10. DA 123.2
“The prince of this world cometh,” said Jesus, “and hath nothing in Me.” John 14:30. There was in Him nothing that responded to Satan's sophistry. He did not consent to sin. Not even by a thought did He yield to temptation. So it may be with us. Christ's humanity was united with divinity; He was fitted for the conflict by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And He came to make us partakers of the divine nature. So long as we are united to Him by faith, sin has no more dominion over us. God reaches for the hand of faith in us to direct it to lay fast hold upon the divinity of Christ, that we may attain to perfection of character. DA 123.3Read in context »