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“An Interpretation, explanation and analysis of a passage from the gospel of John chapter 16 verses 16-23”

“An Interpretation, explanation and analysis of a passage from the gospel of John chapter 16 verses 16-23”


My dear Christians and non-Christians alike and you of all faiths, thoughts, and views and opinions, I bid you and ask you to join with me in another voyage of intellectual discovery and critical thinking and accompany me in this quest and task of attaining and coming to know intellectual honesty and honest discernment. Do join me in a voyage of discovery to get at and find what is valid and authentic in this most confused world and come with me in tearing apart the curtain of lies and darkness that hides from us what is truth and facts.

Now I will once again set about to explain and interpret another gospel passage, this time found in the gospel of John chapter 16 verses 16-23. and do so with hesitation and humility. I am honored to have the great privilege of even attempting to grasp and comprehend the words and mind of the son of God, the savior of the world and the redeemer of all mankind and of all generations present, to come and in the past. 

The words of this gospel passage from the gospel of John are as follows:

“A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.” So some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?” So they were saying, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.” Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’? 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. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.”

This is a most telling and biblical text. We are told here by Jesus of his divine claim to be God and of God. He says to the disciples that he will undergo death itself and then he will go to the Father. Here he predicts his own resurrection and return. The disciples do not know what he means by saying “a little while” and Jesus explains that in his death they will weep but in his resurrection the world will rejoice. He uses the analogy of the pain of his death, comparing it with a woman giving birth: The pain the woman endures turns to joy in a human being being born. Jesus explains that in delivering the baby, her anguish turns to joy in giving birth. In the same way, his death on the cross with all its pain gives rise to and is followed by the resurrection. Jesus says in his death they endure sorrow, but he will come and be with them again as he predicts his resurrection. He will see them and they will have joy and rejoice in the risen Christ, as the woman whose pain is followed by a new life when she has given birth. Jesus from the pain and anguish of the cross rises and returns, turning all with him into joy.

The key to this passage is Jesus’s claim of divinity and to be God or with God or coming from God, as he predicts his death and resurrection and his eternal life and return and second coming as it were, or at least his rising from the dead as he comes to be with his disciples. Here we are told that Jesus claims to be divine as he predicts his death and conquest of death and resurrection. This gospel section has the theme of Jesus’s departure and return.

The image of the woman in labor describes the messianic or apocalyptic reversal or revolution and no one will be able to take the joy of the disciples in the new kingdom from them. Here we are told the church will experience a sorrow which will turn to joy. The entire passage could be interpreted as referring to the death and resurrection of Christ and his withdrawal to heaven and return in glory. Jesus says he will see them, and it is Christ not themselves that will give them joy. The passage ends with the message there will be no questions and the spirit will lead them.

My dear friends of all faiths, Christians and non-Christians alike, I do hope and trust you have derived insight and light from this interpretation of mine of the gospel of John. Since what I have said here must be thought of as inadequate, I urge you all to return to the biblical text where upon reading and reflection some understanding and truth may be found in Christ and the holy spirit will lead you to their truth.