Your Sorrow will Turn into Joy

The Gospel of John

John 16:16-24

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

1.         Jesus has only a few more hours to be with the Eleven disciples before He is arrested by a Roman guard in the garden.

2.         He states that a “little while” they will not see Him, and then for a “little while” they will see Him. The phrase in quotation marks is a biblical literary device often meaning “our experience on the planet, the tragic nature of our living.” Here Jesus is referring to His crucifixion and resurrection.

3.         The Eleven wondered among themselves as to the meaning of Jesus’ words. He observed this and asked, “Is this what you are asking yourselves” thus opening up an opportunity for explanation.

4.         Right off He speaks of the grieving they are about to go through. Yes, they will “lament” but the world, that element opposed to the things of God, will rejoice. He reiterates that they will be sorrowful, but their sorrow will turn into joy.

5.         Yes, sorrow at the arrest, the beatings, the rigged court, which all leads to a horrible, degrading, death on a cross.

6.         Jesus likens what is coming upon Him to a woman giving birth, the pain she will experience, but once the child is born, there is rejoicing.

7.         Yet again, Jesus acknowledges their coming sorrow. But they will see Him again, the resurrection, or maybe beyond that, they will see Him at His coming for them or upon their own death.

8.         The result is joy, which cannot be taken away no matter what. This mysterious joy, the highest of all human blessing, is a gift of grace and quite beyond any worldly experience.

9.         Then Jesus tells His disciples, those Eleven there and to all His followers, that they will not ask anything of Him, but will ask the Father, in Jesus’ name, that is, because of the cleansing from sin He brings and our relationship with Him, and He, the Father, will then give. He urges us to ask, and then receive, that our joy would be full. Here again, another incredible mystery & miracle.

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