posted on Jun, 19 2015 @ 05:02 PM
“Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy” –
John ch16 v20
Jesus was fond of using the phrase “Truly I say to you”, but this “double” version, with the repeated AMEN, is found only in John’s
He seems to use it to mark the statements which he wants people to remember.
In the final discourses at the Last Supper, Jesus uses “Truly, truly” three more times, in words of promise.
The first promise ultimately stems from Philip’s request;
“Lord, show us the Father and we shall be satisfied” (ch14 v8).
Jesus responds that they can see the Father just by looking at himself.
“Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works” (v10)
Then follows the promise;
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater things than these will he do, because I go to the
What does he mean by “greater things”?
Jesus has already told us that his own words were part of “the works of the Father”.
The promise of “greater works” would have to be fulfilled by the same route.
Only the successful global mission of the gospel could be “greater” than anything which Jesus was able to achieve in person.
There is a supplementary promise;
“Whatever you ask in my name…If you ask anything in my name, I will do it”.
The first point to observe is “in my name”.
This means that our request goes to the Father as coming from the Son.
That is possible because we are “in” the Son, and we can say, in effect “here is your Son speaking”.
Nevertheless, it is the Son himself who makes the response to his own request; “I will do it”.
That is possible because the Son is “in” the Father and can act in his name.
Once again the double connection comes into play, by which the Son is united, at one and the same time, with those who believe in him, and also with
his own Father.
As for “anything”; even in theory, this would have to be limited to what can legitimately be asked “in the Son’s name”.
Then he moves on to the subject of sending the Counsellor, one of the ways in which he and the Father will supply our needs.
From time to time, in this discourse, he alludes to his departure from them.
The most direct allusion comes near the end, a couple of chapters later;
“A little while, and you will see me no more; again a little while, and you will see me” (ch16 v16).
In hindsight, we can see that the first “little while” refers to the interval between this discussion and the Crucifixion, and the second refers
to the interval between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.
Without that inside knowledge, the disciples are baffled. They cannot tell what he means by comments like this, and “because I go to the
So he explains a little further, making the promise that I quoted at the beginning;
“Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy”
The first “little while” he mentioned will introduce the period when they will be in mourning while the world rejoices.
The end of the second “little while” will see their sorrow turned into joy.
The time of their sorrowing will be like the suffering of a woman in labour; once the child is born, her pains are forgotten and transformed into
Of course the point of the analogy is that the time of suffering is the necessary pre-condition for the time of joy. They must pass through the first
in order to reach the second.
“In that day you will ask nothing of me.
Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father, he will give it to you in my name” (v23).
This is not as contradictory as it sounds in English. The first statement means that they won’t need to ask any more questions
Apart from the fact that the Father is responding to the prayer instead of the Son, the second statement is a simple repetition of the promise in
The Son does not promise to add his own prayers on their behalf, because there is no need for that.
The Father himself loves them, because they have loved the Son, which gives them a more direct relationship. He will hear their prayers for himself
But his thoughts come back to the tribulation which must intervene first;
“The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered… and will leave me alone”.
Yet he will not be truly alone, because the Father will sustain him.
In the strength of that knowledge, he can also give them assurance about their later tribulation, the persecution by the world.
The themes overlap, because the later tribulation will again scatter them and tempt some of them to abandon his cause.
However, the last word on the subject is that, once again, their sorrow will be turned into joy.
For this tribulation cannot overcome the “Peace” which belongs to them, in Christ.
That is because the tribulation will hold sway only “in the world”.
“But be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (vv32-33).
The first time of sorrow ends with the joy of his Resurrection.
The second time of sorrow ends with the joy of his Return.