XVI. 2. The time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think he doth God service - But, blessed be God, the time is so far past, that those who bear the name of Christ do not now generally suppose they do him service by killing each other for a difference in opinion or mode of worship.
Verse 3. They have not known the Father nor me - This is the true root of persecution in all its forms.
Verse 4. I did not tell you these things at the beginning, because I was with you - To bear the chief shock in my own person, and to screen you from it.
Verse 5. None of you asketh me - Now when it is most seasonable. Peter did ask this before, John 13:36.
Verse 7. It is expedient for you - In respect of the Comforter, John 16:7, &c, and of me, John 16:16, &c, and of the Father, John 16:23, &c.
Verse 8. He - Observe his twofold office; toward the world, John 16:8, &c; toward believers, John 16:12, &c: will convince - All of the world - Who do not obstinately resist, by your preaching and miracles, of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment - He who is convinced of sin either accepts the righteousness of Christ, or is judged with Satan. An abundant accomplishment of this we find in the Acts of the Apostles.
Verse 9. Of sin - Particularly of unbelief, which is the confluence of all sins, and binds them all down upon us.
Verse 10. Of righteousness, because I go to my Father - Which the Spirit will testify, though ye do not then see me. But I could not go to him if I were not righteous.
Verse 11. The prince of this world is judged - And in consequence thereof dethroned, deprived of the power he had so long usurped over men. Yet those who reject the deliverance offered them will remain slaves of Satan still.
Verse 12. I have yet many things to say - Concerning my passion, death, resurrection, and the consequences of it. These things we have, not in uncertain traditions, but in the Acts, the Epistles, and the Revelation. But ye cannot bear them now - Both because of your littleness of faith, and your immoderate sorrow.
Verse 13. When he is come - It is universally allowed that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost dwell in all believers. And the internal agency of the Holy Ghost is generally admitted. That of the Father and the Son, as represented in this Gospel, deserves our deepest consideration.
Verse 15. All things that the Father hath are mine - Could any creature say this?
Verse 16. A little while and ye shall not see me - When I am buried: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me - When I am risen: because I go to my Father - I die and rise again, in order to ascend to my Father.
Verse 19. Jesus said to them - Preventing their question.
Verse 20. Ye will weep and lament - When ye see me dead; but your sorrow will be turned into joy - When ye see me risen.
Verse 22. Ye now therefore have sorrow - This gives us no manner of authority to assert all believers must come into a state of darkness. They never need lose either their peace, or love, or the witness that they are the children of God. They never can lose these, but either through sin, or ignorance, or vehement temptation, or bodily disorder.
Verse 23. Ye shall not question me about any thing - Which you do not now understand. You will not need to inquire of me; for you will know all things clearly. Whatsoever ye shall ask - Knowledge, love, or any thing else, he will give it - Our Lord here gives us a charte blanche. Believer, write down what thou wilt. He had said, John 14:13, I will do it, where the discourse was of glorifying the Father through the Son. Here, speaking of the love of the Father to believers, he saith, He will give it.
Verse 24. Hitherto ye have asked nothing in my name - For they had asked him directly for all they wanted.
Verse 26. At that day ye shall ask - For true knowledge begets prayer. And I say not that I will pray - This in nowise implies that he will not: it means only, The Father himself now loves you, not only because of my intercession, but also because of the faith and love which he hath wrought in you.
Verse 30. Thou knowest all things - Even our hearts. Although no question is asked thee, yet thou answerest the thoughts of every one. By this we believe that thou camest forth from God - They, as it were, echo back the words which he had spoken in John 16:27, implying, We believe in God; we believe also in thee.