John 16:25 “I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; 27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.” 29 His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! 30 Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.” 31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32 Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. 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.” ESV
What is the general theme of the passage?
Jesus knows He’s been the physical connection to the Father’s love for these disciples for the time He’s been with them. That purpose in His coming has impacted the words He’s chosen and the examples He’s shown them. He’s taught them how to build their own relationship with the Father. Now Jesus has a new urgency; He’s “leaving the world and going to the Father to make sure these friends know His purpose now is to confirm the reality of their direct access to the Father. The Father’s love for them did not begin with His physical presence nor is it ending with Jesus’s withdrawal from them. Jesus is “going” to fulfill His promise that direct access has always been the Father’s desire and despite the circumstances He will “overcome the world” and its tribulation to remind them He is the peace of their hearts.
What does it say about God (or Jesus or the Holy Spirit?)
Jesus has always had direct access to the Father. The Father’s plan always included Jesus coming into the disciple’s world but now that plan is going to be fulfilled by Him withdrawing from it.
What does it say about people?
These followers of Jesus aren’t just hearing the words He is telling them now. They remembering the intimacy they have have shared together with Him and already experiencing the grief of that loss.
Is there truth here for me?
I wish John had spelled out the words of those “figures of speech” for His disciples. They had Jesus Himself speaking to them and yet sometimes they only heard “figures of speech.” The Bible has given us so many of Jesus’s words that we read and agree with but John has a caution he’s recorded for us: If the most intimate friends of Jesus could be guilty of reducing Jesus’s words to figures of speech how much greater is that a possibility for those of us who only see and hear Jesus through THE Word. But John has also given us an example from “those” disciples to follow. It’s an odd one to consider. I can read what Jesus said… “In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf…” as a figure of speech and skip right over the truth. BUT…when I follow the example of those first faithful friends and ask for Jesus to show me the “more” of the Word, my heart hears the truth of Jesus saying; [in that day when you ask in my name you will understand that what you ask prompts the Father’s desire to answer you because I have revealed to you the proof of your direct access to His heart]. ❤️