His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech!”– John 16:29
Yay for clarity! You can find the fulltext of John 16 here. Apologies for the slight ramblingness of this post. It gains clarity towards the end… twas somewhat shaped off a Skype conversation that I haven’t the time nor energy to properly edit at this point :)
John 8:14 is pretty funny in its portrayal of the sheer incorrectness of the Pharisees’ assertion of the passage prior: It’s like… you can’t speak truth because you’re speaking truth about yourself (!!)… and then, fastforward back to 16:30 – “We know that you know all things and don’t need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God” – then, in verse 31, Jesus — “oh, so NOW you get it…”
Verse 32 — “But, seriously… yeah, right. Even if you say you do you’re all about to pissbolt… Oh, that’s now, btw.”
33 — “but I’ve said this stuff so that”… You’ll know after the resurrection what’s going on… The resurrection is the act that will make sense of all of this; there will be no figures of speech because it’s a concrete demonstration of what the Christ is achieving — “overcoming the world” and bringing peace for those who are in him — kinda like way the Father is with Him even when all others desert
Verse 23 is confusing… “You won’t ask me anything” vs. “My father will give you whatever you ask in my name”… are they both talking about prayer or is the first talking about information/knowing stuff about Christ’s identity and relationship to the Father and the second talking about prayer?’
Perhaps its about the perfect sufficiency of the cross — reading 22 AND 23 together:
(Paraphrase of Jesus:) You will be sorrowful til I’m back, and then I basically won life (literally! haha) and you have a joy that can’t be taken away from you and what you’re asking the Father will be asked in my name!
You’re not trying to ask it directly of Him (the Father) anymore. You won’t need to, because you have the Spirit of Christ once Jesus has conquered death and returned to His Father. What I think that means, in the context of the “Spirit of truth” from earlier in the passage, is that the things you ASK for are asked as Jesus would (i.e. you’re not standing alone before the father with an impaired relationship asking things for yourself once Jesus has conquered and we’ve received the spirit of truth that speaks what He hears from the Father and Son. Our hearts will desire different things, and we’ll have a complete joy that can’t be taken from us in Christ.
We don’t get the Spirit so we can ask for crap, but so that He can declare what he hears (from the Father) — AND — in verse 14 – 15, His purpose is to glorify the son, who is King over everything that is the Father’s; the Spirit will declare the things of Jesus to his people. So, asking of the Father “in my name” is about asking to receive joy in full…
“I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf” — Does this mean Jesus ISN’T an intermediary (as in Hebrews 7:25)? And Romans 8:26 says that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us when we don’t know what or how to pray. But this passage (John 16) says that the Holy Spirit will speak only what He hears from the Father and Son: therefore, His intercessory prayer for us will necessarily take the shape of prayer for things that God desires. And that should be our prayer always.
Christ needn’t ask the Father on our behalf because His act of death and resurrection/victory OVER death means that our sins have been paid for if we trust in Jesus and call him our Lord. When our sins are paid for, we can be in relationship with God the Father and pray to Him; the High Priest that Hebrews 7 talks about is presenting us blamelessly in unblemished relationship again with God, so we can approach Him. When Christ’s perfect sacrifice was made, we are able to and should do as the writer of Hebrews says we should in chapter 10 of that letter: Where there is forgiveness of sins and lawlessness, there is no longer any offering for sin. Therefore… let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
We are able to draw near to God. Right now this is in the form of prayer to Him and for His purposes; that He might achieve them and use His people to this end in His service. We don’t need to pray in a church or temple, we don’t need to burn incense or hear music to uplift us — though these things are not intrinsically bad. We have freedom as we are saved by Christ’s sacrifice for us; we have a new Spirit which He has put in His people to allow them to draw near to God without impediment or constriction. We needn’t pray to Christ, because He has opened a new way to the Father for us, having fulfilled the law of the scriptures and making perfect that which we (His people) could not.
God’s presence used to dwell in the holiest place of the Temple; now, He dwells in the hearts of His people as Christ has made us His own.
When Jesus says “It is to your advantage that I go away”, he means it. If Christ hadn’t gone away from His followers to the brutal Roman cross to pay for our sins, we would not have peace with God, and there’s no way He could say “I have overcome the world” without lying through his teeth unless He faced death and came out the other side, opening a new way to God for His people.