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ADAMII - John: Chapter 16
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Study #17
Jesus And A Little While
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The Purpose of Parables
Contextual Events

Help on Scripture References

Source of Their Joy
State of Their Relationship
Surety of Their Future

John Chapter 16:16-33


"PARABLE" = mashal in Hebrew, meaning, "a similitude or proverb."
Used 18 times in O.T. (e.g., Ps.49:4; 78:2; Prov.25:7,9.) Used in all cases to keep hidden the deep secrets of God from the wise of this world, conceited in their own wisdom; and the unwise, unable to know and justly employ the wisdom of God.
"PARABLE" = parabole in Greek, having the same meaning as in Hebrew.
Used some 44 times in the N.T. Paroima, used once in John 10:6 for "PARABLE," 3 times here in our text for "PROVERB," and 1 time in II Peter 2:22 for "PROVERB." Always meaning, "an adage or dark saying."
It is more than the typical dictionary definition of a simple story to illustrate a religious lesson or truth. Its purpose is more than that of illustration. It is an Earthly saying laid alongside (para) a Heavenly truth for the express purpose of:
Illuminating that Truth in the listener's mind whose heart's condition is capable of importing and employing it jurisprudentially in the Kingdom of God. Never to one's own advantage over another but certainly to the benefit of any who sees it.
Hiding the deep counsel of God from the mind of the listeners whose hearts are unclean, arrogant in worldly wisdom, conceited in their own self-righteousness, incapable of employing it justly with humility in service to others. Such was the Pharisee and his legalistic lordship over common man. Such was the Gnostic in John's day and their acquisition of knowledge to elevate them from the Earthly to the Heavenly. Such is the "churchman" of today, blind in his own scholarly wisdom, speaking from his own head and learning, rather than from his heart through the Holy Spirit with unction (not volume and length) to touch the hearts and lives of others with heavenly truths rather than man's own idioms! Give me one who speaks from his heart and not his head any day, for through him God speaks, and He, not the man, is glorified.
God will never impart His wisdom to the heart of fools who will trod under foot His Truth like swine over a precious gem, to wallow in the mire of their unclean condition, oblivious to anything but their own selfishness, incapable of any fear in their blinded actions. (See Proverbs Summary by this writer in: A Chapter Summary Of The Old Testament.)
The Psalmist plainly identifies the characteristics in a person which will open one to the counsel of God. (See also Ecc.3:14; 5:7; 7:18.)

Jesus Himself declared in John 3:3 that unless one be "born again" (heart changed - fearful before God, humble before all), he will not "see" (eidon, here meaning, "to perceive") the Kingdom of God. Study Jesus' own answer to the question put to Him concerning why He taught in parables.
I Co.13:11
So, a parable, as taught by Jesus who taught many truths in parables, is used to separate from the unregenerate the regenerate, raising the regenerate to a level of seeing, that they no longer need Earthly stories to perceive Heavenly truths. Finally, they are capable in both heart and mind to receive and employ the deeper things of God to the benefit of all, and to the glory of the Father. (See the longest sentence of Paul's writings and his testimony to his maturity in Christ.) (Col.1:9-17)

We are still in the hours before midnight, the evening before that day of the Cross.
Jesus' discourse continues in His preparing His disciples for the difficult days ahead. He has spoken some very alarming words to them, some very personal predictions: Peter's denial (13:38); to be hated by the world (15:20); put out of the synagogues (16:2); killed (16:2); and their impending desertion of Him (16:33). But He has assured them that they would not face this battle alone to be done within their own power (16:8).
Heretofore, Jesus, as the Light Source reproving sin, was the focus of Satan's attack. The disciples have not yet known the fury of his forces as Jesus has experienced them, and will up to the time of the Cross. But when Jesus is gone and these who remain alone have stepped fully into His Light to assume the battle, Satan's attention will redirect itself upon them with fury. Subsequently, when they feel his hellatious heat, they must possess and unleash Christ's Power to stand, or else they will melt before Satan's blast as ice in a desert summer's sun.
Jesus will encourage them with a promise of joy from their sorrow (16:20), reveal their position with the Father (16:27), and assure them of His victory over the forces of evil (16:33).
The lines of conflict have already been drawn (15:19), sides chosen, the armor selected, battle tactics declared, and the outcome determined (16:33; Ro.8:35-39; I Jn.4:4-6). Instant clearance and unlimited access to the Father(15:7) have been given for one's ongoing needs in their continuing campaign against the powers of darkness and the prince of this world. (Js:4:7-10, Jn.14:13-14)

Acts 12:1-2

As Christ stepped forward into the baptismal waters of this warfare, so too must these chosen ones, and all who will follow and be found faithful in that final day. Notice, there is no promise of physical Earthly security here, only His abiding presence ("lo I am with you alway"). On the contrary, he teaches that persecutions and death are sure to accompany this assignment. In fact, the closer to the front of the engagement the more intense the battle and greater likelihood of deadly danger. For example: the Apostle James, brother of Peter, was the first to fall of the remaining eleven. I have personally seen well-meaning, yet unstudied Christians, emphatically promise a new believer emerging from a sinful life wrought with danger, that when threatened, all they simply had to do was call upon Christ and He would protect them from imminent hurt, only to see them devastated and turn against Christ when this danger arose and their deliverance did not occur. Besides feeling betrayed, this one felt they were beyond Christ's salvation and had not received Him to receive His protection. To him, there was no more hope for him, thus returning to his old way with greater resignation to a life of sin and crime. We need to be careful when speaking promises for Christ, unknowing of His plan for their sanctification. Just as Christ would not reveal John's future to Peter after predicting his own death, He does not do so to any today. When making blanket promises to another, remember the example of the apostle James, one clearly in the center of God's will, yet physically unprotected from Satan's deadly devices.

So, let me be bold here. No one can know or tell another what God's will is for his or her life short of what is already specified in Scripture, i.e., be saved, grow in grace, walk in the Spirit, be constant in prayer, love one another, etc. I think you get the idea here. Now, I know some might want to agrue that point, but consider this: Suppose one does go ahead and tell another specifically the will of God in a matter and, well, they do it and it just doesn't work out. What then? So, unless you're ready to accept the responsibility and accountability for that failure and possibility of catastrophic results, it's better to leave those matters to the One who knows for sure. He's quite capable.

Acts 7:55-56
Thus, Christ assures them of His ever-present help (His presence) in their own hour of conflict. Jesus would be their example (and all that would follow) of what to expect and how to react. See Stephen's life as example of a fulfillment to this promise. Did he not see Christ in his hour of need? Was he not strengthened by His "presence," yet died at the hands of the forces of evil? Would that we all knew the same lesson, applying it to our lives as well.

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