Posted On April 2, 2019

Reflections on John 16

by | Apr 2, 2019 | The Gospel and the Christian Life, Featured

John 16:33 – “I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Christ promised tribulation in this world because the ruler of this world is against Christ. And if against Christ, he will be against us who call on His name. In His discourse in John 16, and in everywhere else, Christ chose His words carefully. He said He chose these words that they may have peace in the midst of tribulation.

So, His words ask us to go deeper. Why did He compare their sorrow with the pain a woman experiences while in labor, and the joy she has when she sees the face of her child in John 16:21?

This comparison is important for us because it is important in redemptive history. There is a reason why childbirth is so painful for a woman. In fact, it’s one of the most painful things a person could ever go through. That pain comes from the second darkest part of human history: the fall of humanity in the Garden of Eden.

Genesis 3:16 – “To the woman he said, ‘I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain, you shall bring forth children. Your desire will be contrary husband, but he shall rule over you.’”

In the Garden, we fell. The physical and spiritual consequences of their action continues to be felt to this day in a Post-Fall world. Work is hard; childbearing, painful. And men and women have been battling over control ever since. Worst of all, humans are now by nature spiritually dead, at enmity with the Creator, the One true and living God.

God promised pain to Eve as a result of her sin, but through that pain, He showed incredible mercy; life would be brought into the world. And because of that life, the mother would have joy when she looked into the face of the human she helped create.

Christ chose that illustration, that same one that was a result of the  Fall, to compare with the pain the disciples would experience during the darkest moment in history: when they would watch the very Son of God, dying on the cross at the hands of wicked men.

But after those three days, when they saw their Savior again, face to face, in His resurrected body, just as with the mother, so too did the disciples weep tears of joy that Salvation through Christ alone has been born into the world.

His words of promise kept them from falling away when they would be put out from the synagogues and be ostracized from their community, His promise of the coming Holy Spirit who would guide them into all the truth, His promise that He would see them again, His promise that the Father loves them, His promise of tribulation, and His promise to take heart, were all because He had overcome the world.

That is what gives us heart. Christ is not dead; He is alive. He defeated death. He overcame the world. And God proved Christ’s words true by raising Him from the dead.

This tribulation is not a surprise. The stain of sin still stands. Loved ones get sick, grow old, and die. Christians get ridiculed, accosted, tortured, and martyred. Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life will face persecution. But that tribulation was promised by Christ. It is not fruitless. Everything Christ does He does for a purpose. That tribulation reminds us this world is not our home, and the ruler of this world is judged by the One who overcame it. In this, we rejoice.

Though that curse still stands, the disciples’ sorrow, our sorrow, gives way to joy as we look to our precious Redeemer who rose from the grave. And that fulness of joy none can ever take from us; because indeed, Christ has “overcome the world.”


Related Posts

Weekly Roundup 6/27/2022-7/1/2022

Weekly Roundup 6/27/2022-7/1/2022

This is our weekly roundup of posts for 6/27/2022-7/1/2022. If you have any feedback on how we can serve you our readers better, I would appreciate it. Thank you for reading and allowing us to minister to you throughout this past week through these posts. Monday...

God Save the King

God Save the King

Join Dave as he continues his series through Psalms looking at Psalm 3 and God save the King.

Prayer: A Source of Living Water and Strength for Desert Wanderers

Prayer: A Source of Living Water and Strength for Desert Wanderers

We know we need to pray. We also know the Scripture commands us to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thess. 5:17). After all, the forces of evil will do everything in their power to stop God’s people from praying. Even though we know all that (or should know that), we often...

Testing and Temptation in Scripture

Testing and Temptation in Scripture

On today’s episode, a listener writes in and asks Dave, “Is temptation sin?” What You'll Hear on this Episode Testing and Temptation in the Old and New Testament Subscribing, sharing, and your feedback You can subscribe to the Servants of Grace Podcast via iTunes,...

Christ’s Intercession on Our Behalf

Christ’s Intercession on Our Behalf

On today’s For Life and Godliness, Drew considers the intercession of Christ and its importance of it in the Christian life. Subscribing, sharing, and your feedback You can subscribe to Life and Godliness via iTunes, Google Play, or Spotify. If you like what you’ve...

Christian Friendship and Doing Life With One Another

Christian Friendship and Doing Life With One Another

On today’s Equipping You in Grace show, Dave considers the nature and purpose of Christian friendship and why real Christian friends tell each other hard biblical truths, comfort one another in love with Scripture, and do life with one another through every stage of...


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.