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On The Book of John
The Gospel of John Chapter 16
I will do the Gospel of John
Commentary similar to my other Commentaries . . . in that
I will bring the verse or verses in the KJV, followed by what
it is saying to me. What I write will be a personal comment,
it is NOT Scripture.
Gospel of John
This chapter brings to a close the “Upper Room Discourse.” Remember that He is still speaking just to His apostles. The preceding chapter told them (and us) “His own” should love one another. My friend, this is really an actual warning to us. It is such a rebuke that He must literally command us to do it. It is a rebuke because it shows that we are not nearly as good as we think we are. We need His help to enable us to love one another. He also told the apostles (and us) that when we identify with Him, the world will hate us.
He also told His apostles that if He had not come, they would not have known how bad sin could be. He did not mean that they did not have their own sins, because they did . . . He meant that since He had come, those personal sins were nothing compared to the unbelief and immeasurable guilt of rejecting the Saviour of the world and the Lord of glory.
Many think that Heaven is Heaven and Hell is Hell, they do not consider that there are different degrees of rewards in Heaven, and that there are also different degrees of punishment in Hell. It only makes sense to me that not every child of God will have the same type of “mansion” in Heaven. The person who comes to Christ on their deathbed is not entitled to the same reward as the person who has served the Lord for many years. And it only makes sense to me that not every child of the devil (unbeliever), will have the same amount of agony in Hell. There are those who have lived a “good” life, but have rejected Jesus, and there are many who have committed multiple horrific atrocities, the judgment will NOT be the same for them both. Some Scriptures to consider on this subject: (Pro.17:10; Lk.12:42-48; Mat.24:51; 25:14-30; Acts 17:30; Rom.1:13; 14:10; 1 Cor.3:13-15; 14:38; 2 Cor.5:10).
Please consider: the person today who hears about Christ Jesus and turns his back on Him is in the same category as Judas Iscariot, who was in the Presence of Christ and turned his back on Him. To reject Christ is the greatest sin of all. Jesus warns about this in this chapter.
Jesus Will Send Holy Spirit During His Absence (John 16:1-33)
The chapter starts out with Jesus still talking about the hatred of the world.
John 16:1 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. (KJV)
These things have I spoken unto you . . . the Lord means the world's hatred and persecution of the apostles, and how little regard unbelievers would show to their doctrine. Jesus thought it right to give them notice before it happened to them, that they might remember His words and be prepared for it, because it would come!
That ye should not be offended . . . Jesus did not want to have them become discouraged when the persecution came to them, He wanted to keep them from stumbling and falling. Hardships that come to people unawares bear harder on their hearts and minds, and they are quicker to take offence at them and lose their patience. This can be prevented or omitted when people are made aware of what can happen, so Jesus warns them before hand. This shows the loving concern of Christ for His apostles (and us). He wanted to remove every chance of stumbling, and what might offend them. May this teach us to act in such like manner towards one another.
John 16:2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. (KJV)
They shall put you out of the synagogues . . . the ruling Jews had already made a law, that whoever confessed that Jesus was the Messiah, should be cast out of their synagogues (Jn.9:22), and they carried it out with the blind man Christ restored to sight, for his profession of faith in Him. It put such fear in the people, that even many of the chief rulers who believed that Jesus was the true Messiah, dared not to confess Him because of this law.
Yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you, will think that he doth God service . . .
the Jews who persecuted the apostles regarded them as blasphemers, and as seeking to overthrow the temple service, and the system of religion which God had established. Therefore they supposed they were rendering service to God in putting them to death (Acts 6:13-14; 21:28-31; 26:9-11). Sinful hypocrites, often hide enormous crimes under the pretence of great zeal for religion. Men often suppose, or profess to suppose, that they are rendering God service when they persecute others. There is a pretence of great eagerness for truth and purity, but instead they show all possible bigotry, hatred, pride, malice and greed. God’s people have suffered something awful from those who have been conscientious persecutors and some of the most malignant and spiteful foes which TRUE Christians have ever had have been INSIDE the church, and have been professed preachers of the gospel . . . but their gospel was NOT the Gospel of Jesus Christ (2 Cor.11:4; Gal.1:6-8), and they preach NOT the TRUE Jesus, but “another Jesus.” BEWARE!!!
John 16:3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. (KJV)
And these things will they do unto you . . . ignorance of the bounty of God, and of the compassion of Christ, is the source where all religious persecution and intolerance proceed. If a person does not know the Son of God, they will not know, love, or approve of Him. It is pure willful ignorance of the Father and the Son.
Because they have not known the Father nor me . . . many boast of their knowledge of God, but in reality, they do NOT know Him as the Father and Sender of Christ Jesus, the Son of God (Jn.3:16-17). Millions refuse to own Jesus as the TRUE Messiah, the Sent of the Father, to redeem and save His people from their sins (Jn.3:18,36; 10:28-30; Ro.6:23). And it makes sense that if they do not know either the Father or the Son, they certainly do not know or acknowledge the disciples of Christ.
John 16:4 But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you. (KJV)
But these things have I told you . . . Jesus adds more on this repulsive subject, by specifying the evils His apostles would endure for His Name's sake. My friend, that includes His people in today’s world, His present disciples and servants. What is the difference between an “apostle” and a “disciple”? An apostle was a person personally and specifically chosen by our Lord Jesus to be sent out to do His bidding. I think that Paul (Saul) was one of these chosen few (Acts 9:1-22). A disciple is a learner, and a follower of Jesus. Christian disciples are learners of Christ. Jesus’ apostles were also His disciples.
That when the time shall come . . . meaning the time when wicked men will vent all their rage and malice.
Ye may remember that I told you of them . . . their remembering Jesus’ words of warning to them, would serve greatly to confirm and keep them strong in the faith of Christ as the omniscient God and the true Messiah. It would also encourage them to depend on the Truth and faithfulness in His promises, that since the evil things which He spoke of did come to them, therefore they might hope, believe and expect, that all the good things He had promised to them, would be accomplished. It would also help them to bear their sufferings with the greater patience, since they were appointed by God the Father, and they were foretold by their Lord and Master. This goes for us today as well. We must hang in there!
And these things I said not unto you at the beginning . . . when Christ first called them, He did not tell them much of what He now states to them. Although He had ordained them, and sent them forth to preach the Gospel in the cities of Judea, He did tell them of some of the troubles that they would come up against (Mat.10:17-19), but He did not so fully and specifically speak of the things of which He now speaks. He now tells them why.
Because I was with you . . . He never gave so much detail about the troubles that they would encounter, because He was there with them, and took it all upon Himself. While He was with them, the rage and malice of the Jews was not really against His disciples, but was against Jesus personally. Neither did He speak of the Comforter, for the same reason. He was the Comforter for them while He was on Earth.
John 16:5 But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? (KJV)
But now I go my way to him that sent me . . . He now gives a reason as to why He spoke of the trials and afflictions of His disciples . . . because He was going away from them to His Father, and from then on, they would be the head of His affairs in this world, therefore they would the more bear the brunt of the rage of wicked men.
And none of you asketh me, whither goest thou? . . . Peter did ask this question (Jn.13:36), but what he meant was, what part of the country was He going to? What secret place was He going to? Peter had no idea of His going out of this world, or to Heaven to His Father, so he asked no more about it . . . and when Jesus had told His apostles, that He was going to His Father's house, to prepare mansions for them, they just did not seem to understand Him (Jn.14:1-5). Neither did Peter or any of them ask what Jesus meant by His Father's house, or anything about those mansions He was going to prepare. Neither did they ask about the glory that He was going to possess for Himself and them.
John 16:6 But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. (KJV)
But because I have said these things to you . . . the things of being hated and persecuted by the Jews, of being put out of their synagogues, and of losing of their lives; and especially of His departing from them, their losing His Bodily Presence.
Sorrow hath filled your heart . . . they all loved Him, and they were already revealing sorrow for His absence. It haunted their minds, took hold of the power and ability of their souls and occupied their thoughts. It never entered their minds to ask about the place He was going to, or what state He would enter therein. Had they known, it would have lessened their sorrow and quieted their hearts, made His departure from them more tolerable. Sorrow has a way of taking control of us at times. We cannot think properly.
John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. (KJV)
Nevertheless, I tell you the truth . . . Christ Jesus WAS the Truth, Truth itself! God does NOT lie, and Jesus IS God! God does NOT lie: (Tit.1:2; Heb.6:18; Num.23:19; 1 Sam.15:29; Ps.89:35). Since they were not easily persuaded because of their grief and sorrow, and because of His going away from them, He wanted to get their attention so they would listen to what He was about to say. A greater Truth He could not tell them, that would be to their real good and advantage. Truth, Jesus: (Jn.14:6; 1:14,17; 8:32; 15:1; 18:37; 1 Jn.1:8; Rev.3:7,14. 19:11).
It is expedient for you that I go away . . . Jesus’ death here, as in many other places in these discourses of His, means going away, a departure, taking a sort of a journey, such an one as indeed is common to all mankind; death is the way of all the earth, and which Christ took willingly by agreement with His Father; a dark way in the valley of the shadow of death (Ps.23:4), and so it was with Christ, who went away in the dark, His Father's Face hidden from Him because of our sin (Mat.27:46). The death of Jesus was like NO other death! His going away was a short journey, for He rose again the third day (1 Cor.15:4). He would “go away” from the place and persons, this world and His disciples (and all those who believed on Him); and the place and Persons He went to, the grave, Heaven, His Father, the Holy Spirit, the angels, and glorified saints (2 Cor.6:6,8). God’s children can think of death (going away) as moving us from one place and position to another. The death of Christ was appropriate, not only for Himself, which He does not mention, for He would go to the Father’s right Hand (Mk.16:19; Lk.22:69), and resume His glorified state (Jn.1:1). Jesus’ main concern was for the happiness of His people, rather than of Himself, for all His apostles and disciples . . . ALL believers in Him. The expediency of His going away, is the mission and coming of the Holy Spirit. Go away, die: (Jn.14:3,12,28; 16:7,16)
For if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him to you . . . the Holy Spirit, in some sense had come, before the death of Christ: He had helped in the creation of all things out of nothing (Gen.1:2; Jn.1:3; Heb.11:3), as a joint Creator with the Father and Son. He came as a Spirit of prophecy upon the inspired writers of God’s most Holy Word, both the Old and the New Testaments! He had been given to Christ as Man, without measure (Lk.3:34), and the apostles had been partakers of His gifts and graces. BUT . . . He came in a much different way, when the Promise of Christ Jesus was fulfilled. When the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost) came as promised, He makes His home within all TRUE believers (Jn.14:17,23; Rom.8:9), He glorifies Christ, He comforts God’s people, He reproves (rebukes) the world of their sin (Jn.16:8). There are SO many things that the Holy Spirit does to make the life of a child of God easier.
John 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (KJV)
And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment . . . this is one of the most profound Passages in the deep and intense discourses of Christ. With so few words, He describes all and every part of the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the world! Christ Jesus reveals His function and course of action with reference to a single individual, as well as the mass . . . on believers and unbelievers alike.
He will reprove . . . I do not think reprove is a strong enough word to express what is meant here. Convict or convince is what is intended, and expresses the work of the Spirit on the unbelieving portion of mankind, whereas reproof (rebuke) expresses the work of the Spirit on those believing.
He will reprove the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment . . . it is highly likely that "the world" here means the Jews . . . the world among whom Christ was personally involved, who knew Him not, did not believe Him, rejected Him as the Messiah, hated and persecuted Him, even unto His death. BUT this does not exclude the Gentiles, because the whole world lies in wickedness (1 Jn.5:19). The Holy Spirit works on all people!
John 16:9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; (KJV)
Of sin, because they believe not on me . . . the "sin" here largely intended, is that of the Jews: their not believing, their rejecting and crucifying Christ, the Messiah, and which the Holy Spirit, by Peter, charged upon them on the day of Pentecost, and totally proved against them. He gave such clear evidence, and brought such strong conviction to their minds and consciences, that they were pricked to the heart and cried out: "What shall we do?" (Acts 2:22-37). The Holy Spirit works on the souls of men, through the ministry of the Holy Word of God, convicting of all kinds of sin, original and actual sins, and especially the sin of unbelief. The Holy Spirit convinces and/or convicts of the sinfulness and corruption of our human nature, the wickedness of a man's heart and the sin that is present with in him. Sin spreads over all the control and power of a person’s soul, rendering them and their services unacceptable to God. Since our God is so pure and holy, He cannot stand to look on sin, that is why the Father turned away (forsook) His Son when He went to the cross with OUR sin. Sin is detestable and disgusting in God’s sight, making us helpless and hopeless before Him without Jesus (Jn.14:6; Acts 4:12). We rightly deserve His displeasure and wrath. Since God is so compassionate and wise, and knows we on our own can do nothing to stop sin, He has sent the Holy Spirit to convince us of our sins and transgressions, showing that they are committed against God Himself, deserving of death, even eternal death for those who refuse to listen to the Holy Spirit. All those who do not believe the Messiah, shall die in their sins (Jn.8:21,24). Whosoever does not believe in Him shall be condemned, damned to Hell (Jn.3:18,36; Mk.16:16; 1 Jn.5:10). My friend, faith in Christ is absolutely necessary for salvation . . . without it, there is none!
John 16:10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; (KJV)
Of righteousness, because I go to my Father . . . righteousness here means the Personal righteousness of Christ. 1 Cor. 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: (KJV) The Jews called Jesus a wicked man, a sinner, a friend of publicans and sinners, said that He was guilty of blasphemy and sedition, that He had a devil . . . BUT the Holy Spirit, through Peter on the day of Pentecost, proved and convicted the Jews, proving their evil words were slander (Acts 2:14-47), and that Christ was an innocent, holy and righteous Person, and a Man approved of God among them.
And ye see me no more . . . could mean, they would see Him no more, in the wicked and despicable condition on Earth, in a state of humiliation, in the form of a Servant, having faithfully performed the complete work He came to do, and above all that of righteousness, that He came to bring in. The apostles did see the Lord after His resurrection, for 40 days (Acts 1:3), and will again, when all of the saints meet Him at the Rapture (1 Thes.4:13-18).
John 16:11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. (KJV)
Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged . . . this speaks of the judiciary power and authority of Christ, who has all judgment committed to Him by the Father. ALL things in Jesus’ Hands: (Jn.3:35; 5:22-27; 13:3; 17:2; Mat.11:27; 28:18; Lk.10:22; Acts 2:36; 1 Cor.15:27; Eph.1:21-22; Phil.2:9-11; Heb.1:2; 2:8-9). As Mediator, He shall have all power in Heaven and in Earth. The prince of this world is Satan (Jn.12:31). The death of Christ brought about the judgment or condemnation of Satan. In this struggle (Gen.3:15), Jesus gained the victory and subdued the great enemy of man (1 Cor.15:54-57). This is absolute proof that God will execute judgment on all His foes. If He defeated His great enemy, the devil, who had so long been successful in this world, He shall absolutely subdue ALL others in the proper time. ALL unforgiven sinners, unbelievers, those who reject Christ Jesus can expect to be condemned to Hell (Jn.3:18,36; 1 Jn.5:10-11). Of this great Truth, Jesus says the Holy Spirit will convince OR convict men. Has the Holy Spirit convinced you of the righteousness of Christ Jesus, and of His ability and willingness to save you? In these verses we have a condensed and striking view of the work of the Holy Spirit. These three things comprise the whole of His agency in the conversion of sinful men; and in the accomplishment of this work the Holy Spirit awakens (Rom.13:11; 1 Cor.15:34; Eph.5:14), convinces (Jude 1:15) and renews (Ps.51:10; Rom.12:2; 2 Cor.4:6; Eph.4:23; Col.3:10; Tit. 3:5; Heb.6:6). He is present at the preaching of the Gospel and blesses the means of grace, thus He imparts to man the blessings purchased by the death of Jesus, carries and extends the same plan of mercy, and will one day apply it to all the Jews (Rev.7). Have you ever felt His power, have you ever mourned over your sins, have you ever sought the mercy of a dying Saviour? Judgment: (Jn.12:31; Rom.2:2; Rev.20:11-15).
John 16:12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. (KJV)
I have yet many things to say unto you . . . not the doctrines of the Gospel, for He had told them all things that He had heard of His Father (Jn.15:15). I think He means the rejection of the Jews, and the calling of the Gentiles, the annulment of the Mosaic system, and the Gospel church condition, for all these would come to pass after His death and resurrection and His sending of the Holy Spirit.
But ye cannot bear them now . . . Why? Because of their prejudices in favor of their own nation, for they were Jews, the law of Moses, and the rites and rituals of it, and the setting up of a temporal kingdom. (Heb.5:12). Consider the following: #1. Establishing the Christian day of worship, and abolishing the Jewish Sabbath. #2. The rejection of the entire Jewish nation, at the very time that they expected to be set up and established for ever. #3. Changing of the whole Mosaic system, to bring the Gentiles into the Church of God.
John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. (KJV)
Howbeit, when the Spirit of truth is come . . . have you ever really considered the character of the Holy Spirit? (Jn.16:17; Rom.8:9; 1 Pet.1:11). His coming means much more than His descending upon the apostles at Pentecost! The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ Himself!
He will guide you into all truth . . . the Truth must be made known, because it is useful to men and profitable to the churches. The Truth is the entire counsel of God (Lk.7:30; Acts 2:23; 20:27), that relates to worship, the nature, form and holiness of it, as well as doctrine. The Holy Spirit is as a Guide, He goes on before, leads the way, removes obstacles, opens our understanding, making things clear to us, and His teaching profits our soul and leads us in the way we should go. He keeps us on the straight and narrow . . . IF we allow Him to do so.
Our Lord Jesus had used a similar expression to the Jews in John 7:33: Yet a little while I am with you; and He had spoken the same words to His apostles in John 13:3, but it is plain from this verse, that His apostles did not understand Him. My friend, even the best of God’s children need the light of the blessed Holy Spirit, to rightly consider and understand spiritual things! Without Him, we can do nothing! (Phil.:13). The doctrines of His death resurrection, ascension and coming judgment, our Lord had implanted into His apostles, not only here, but also in: (Jn.8:21; 12:33; 14:2,4,12,28) and in this chapter (Jn.16:5,7).
For he shall not speak of himself . . . our Lord Jesus NEVER spoke a word in opposition to His Father, and so too, the Holy Spirit NEVER speaks in opposition either to the Father or the Son. He is always in perfect agreement with both, for He is of the same nature and essence, same power and glory, the same mind, understanding and will. The three divine Persons of our awesome triune God, constantly agree and work jointly and in perfect harmony, in the works of nature and providence, also in the works of grace and salvation.
But whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak . . . the Holy Spirit will speak whatsoever he shall hear, the same as Christ Himself did (Jn.15:15). These things are those which were secretly transacted in the council and covenant of peace, and agreed upon by all the three Persons: things concerning the salvation of men, the Gospel church condition, another world, and the glory of all the divine Persons.
And he will show you things to come . . . things that would come to pass after the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ Jesus, things relating to the arrangement of the Gospel church, the partition wall being broken down (Eph.2:14), the law of commandments contained in ordinances abolished (Rom.6:14), and He shall reveal to you things that are to come, for He is also the Spirit of Prophecy (Rev.19:10). The apostles in their Epistles, and John in the book of Revelation, showed not all things, but many other things which were to come to pass, through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit.
John 16:14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. (KJV)
He shall glorify me . . . the Holy Spirit shall glorify Jesus by the amazing gifts which He shall give out (1 Cor.12:7-11) and also by showing them things to come. The Holy Spirit shall guide and lead into the Truth, that which Christ Jesus had already revealed, because it is Jesus’ will that He should make known and reveal the Truth to them and all the disciples of Jesus who would follow them in years to come. The main job of the Holy Spirit is to glorify Jesus! He is NEVER pleased when a person glorifies Him rather than Jesus, nor is He pleased when a person worships Him and not Jesus.
For he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you . . . I think this means the doctrines of the Gospel, the deep things of God and Christ (1 Cor.2:10), which the Spirit searches and reveals in administering the Word of God. Christ received it from the Father, the Spirit received it from Christ, the apostles received it from the Spirit and the churches of Christ from them in following generations. I also think that this means the blessings of grace which are found in the Gospel: the love of God (Jn.3:16), adoption into the family of God (Jn.1:12-13), justification (Rom.5:1,9), forgiveness (Heb.8:12; 10:17; Ps.103:12; Mic.7:18-19), which are only in Christ, and which the Spirit takes from Christ and shows to the saints, and witnessing to their particular needs, and comforting them and glorifying Christ. The whole propose of the Spirit's office is to glorify Christ . . . NOT to glorify Himself.
John 16:15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. (KJV)
All things that the Father hath are mine . . . although it is true that the same divine nature and perfections are possessed by the Father and the Son . . . Christ is speaking of things received from Him by the Spirit, and shown to His people. It means the blessings of grace, which the Father has in store for His chosen ones.
Therefore, said I, he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you . . . Jesus does not mention the things of the Father, only His own . . . because whatever is His, also is the Father's, and whatever the Father has is His. ALL things are jointly possessed . . . every thing involving the benefit, comfort, happiness, peace and salvation of God’s children. SO . . . when the Holy Spirit takes of the things of the One, He takes of the things of the Other, and determines and applies them properly to all the saints. Not all saints need the same thing, The Holy Spirit discerns what is right for each person.
John 16:16 A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father. (KJV)
A little while and ye shall not see me . . . again, Jesus tells the apostles that He would be quickly taken away from them by death. It would be a very little time after this, that He shall pray for them (Ch.17), and then He will go into the garden, where He will be met by Judas and his band of cut-throats, who would lay hold on Him, bind Him, and lead Him first to Annas (J. 18:13), then to Caiaphas (Jn.18:24), and from him to Pilate (Mat.27:2), when all the disciples forsook Him and fled (Mk.14:50; Ps.38:11), and they saw Him no more in His earthly state, except Peter and John (Lk.22:61; Jn.19:26). Christ Jesus went willingly to His trial, was very soon condemned and crucified. He was laid a dark, silent tomb, where for a while, He was out of sight. A little while: (Jn.7:33; 12:35; 13:33; 16:16,18,19).
And again, a little while and ye shall see me . . . this refers to His rising again the third day after His death, as was prophesied (Hos.6:2), and was symbolized by Jonah's being three days and three nights in the whale's belly (Jonah 1:17; Mat.12:40), when He appeared and was seen by His apostles, and brought great joy to them . . . and the short time He would be seen by them . . . the forty days (Acts 1:3) between His resurrection and ascension to Heaven.
Because I go to the Father . . . the Son of God had finished the work His Father had given Him to do on Earth. He would now return to His Father in Heaven, to appear in the Presence of Almighty God for them, as their Advocate (1 Jn.2:1), plead their cause, and intercede for them, and take possession of their eternal “mansions” in Heaven for them, in their name (Jn.14:2; 1 Pet.1:4). God does NOT lie (Tit.1:2) and Jesus IS God! When our Lord Jesus returned to Heaven, He took His rightful place at the right hand of God (Mk.16:19; Lk.22:69; Acts 2:33; 7:55-56; Rom.8:34; Col.3:1; Heb.10:12; 12:2; 1 Pet.3:22), where He shall remain until He #1. He comes in the clouds to take all God’s TRUE children Home (1 Thes.4:13-18), and #2. and He comes back to the Earth again to bring judgment on all God’s enemies (Zec.14:1-9; Rev.19:11-21). Jesus IS God! Please do not doubt it. http://hisservants.org/is_jesus_god_h_s.htm
John 16:17 Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father? (KJV)
Then said some of his disciples among themselves . . . it is possible that some of the apostles better understood the meaning of Christ’s words than others, then on the other hand, all of them might have been unaware of what He really meant. For before the coming of the Holy Spirit upon them, they were beset with unhappiness and sorrow, and they understood very little of what Christ said to them concerning His death, the reason, need and result of it. This could be why they talk among themselves, asking each others questions.
What is this that he saith unto us, a little while and ye shall not see me? . . . they simply did not know what He was talking about. Jesus had always spoken clearly to them, but they did not understand these words.
And again a little while and ye shall see me . . . Jesus had clearly told them that in so many words, some time ago, that He would die and rise again the third day (Jn.7:33; 13:33; 12:33; 14:2,4,12,28; 16:5,7). Jesus also spoke of His death to the Jews (Jn.8:21), in the presence of His apostles. Yet, they were still at a loss to guess what He meant.
And because I go to the Father . . . He had often mentioned it already, and as what might be matter of joy unto them. (Jn.14:2-3). Also see: (Mk.9:10,32; Lk.9:45; 18:34).
John 16:18 They said therefore, What is this that he saith, A little while? we cannot tell what he saith. (KJV)
They said therefore . . . it seems that all of the apostles were confused.
What is this that he saith, a little while? . . . these words were the most obscure and puzzling to them. The idea they might have of not seeing Him, and then seeing Him again in "a little while" simply baffled them. They knew from what He had said that He was going to die, but they did not know what He meant by their seeing Him again in a little while.
We cannot tell what he saith . . . they just did not know what He meant.
John 16:19 Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do ye enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me? (KJV)
Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him . . . since Jesus is omniscient, He knew exactly what they all were thinking. His omniscience is proof of Christ's deity, that He is the omniscient God who knows ALL things, what is in man, even the deep, dark secrets of the heart. He not only knew about the whisperings of the apostles, but also their secret desires to ask Him about it.
And said unto them, Do ye inquire among yourselves of that I said, a little while and ye shall not see me, and again a little while and ye shall see me? . . . He asked them, before they could ask Him. This reveals His readiness to explain Himself to His apostles, as He then does.
John 16:20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. (KJV)
Verily, verily, I say unto you . . . Any time Jesus uses these words, a strong and absolute Truth shall be spoken by Him. This is the way that He solemnly affirms something, assuring them of the Truth of it. Check it out for yourself when He speaks those words. Verily, verily: (John 1:51; 3:3,5,11; 5:19,24,25; 6:26,32,47,53; 834,51,58; 10:1,7; 12:24; 13:16,20,21,38; 14:12; 16:20,23; 21:18)
That ye shall weep and lament . . . He means that the apostles (and His disciples also) would be saddened by His death. They would weep and grieve in sorrow when He would be taken from them (Mk.16:10; Lk.22:62; 23:47-49). Sorrow for believers.
But the world shall rejoice . . . meaning the unbelieving Jews, especially the chief priests and the Scribes and elders who mocked Him, insulted Him, and were glad when He went to the cross, for now they would no longer be bothered by Christ and His followers. Extreme joy for unbelievers.
And ye shall be sorrowful . . . Jesus again tells them they would have sorrow when He dies.
But your sorrow shall be turned into joy . . . BUT . . . their sorrow would be short lived! He would be raised from the dead, which was such wonderful news to them. It would be mercy so great, that their sorrow would turn to joy when they saw Him. In reality, His death became the foundation of their joy, because His death brought salvation to mankind, and all the benefits and blessings of grace that come with salvation.
John 16:21 A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. (KJV)
A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow . . . as God said she would have (Gen.3:16-19; Isa.26:17), this being God's decree against sin.
Because her hour is come . . . no way to avoid it.
But as soon as she is delivered of the child . . . even though the pain and sorrow is great, the child is delivered, then . . .
She remembereth no more the anguish . . . the sharp pains she has endured in her travail would be forgotten.
For joy that a man is born into the world . . . our Lord, by this example, illustrates the sorrow His disciples would have by His death, and the joy that they would have when He returned to them. Just as the pains of a woman in travail are very sharp and severe, bringing distress to her mind, so too would be the grief and sorrow the apostles would feel when Jesus died. But when a woman is safely delivered of her child, she is filled with joy, that her sorrow is remembered no more . . . so would it be with them, when Christ would reappear to them . . . all their sorrow, concern, anxiety and fears would go away. I read somewhere that the Jews had a way of speaking: “If a woman brings forth a male child, all is forgot, and she repents her impatience, or any unbecoming expression in the time of labor, for the joy of a man child.” It is a common saying with them: “Blessed is he whose children are males, and woe to him whose children are females,” for they say, “that when a man child comes into the world, peace comes into the world.”
John 16:22 And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. (KJV)
And ye now therefore have sorrow . . . this is the application of the preceding . . . as it is with a woman in travail, when her hour is come, so it was now with them, and would be when Christ was removed from them. I think this can be applied to all believers, when Christ is absent, there are many things that cause sorrow: sin, Satan and at times troubling providence. Nothing gives them more discomfort, than when Christ is out of sight. Why? Because He is joined to them, He is their everlasting Father (Isa.9:6), kind Husband (Jn.3:29; 2 Cor.11:2; Rev.19:1-10), loving Brother (Mat.12:48-50; Rom.8:29; Heb.2:11), and faithful Friend (Jn.15:13-15). The sorrow they will have is just for the present, it is not forever.
But I will see you again . . . and He did, see them, after His resurrection, and again for the period of forty days. My friend, even today, He is ever so near to His people. There are times, when He comes to us, in a spiritual way, He comes and manifests Himself to His people for He abides within them, and they are always under His omniscient eye; He always sees them as His, and they are always under His watchful eye of love, grace and mercy as Mediator (1 Tim.2:5). There is a wonderful interaction between Christ and His own, and nothing is more desirable than this for those who truly love the Lord.
And your heart shall rejoice . . . their hearts most certainly did rejoice when they saw Christ risen from the dead! As for us today, we also rejoice because He is risen! The hearts of all believers rejoice, not because we have seen Him bodily, but because we have seen Him with an eye of faith (2 Cor.5:7; 1 Pet.1:8), and we walk by faith. We SEE the glory and beauty of Christ, we SEE Him as our Saviour and we SEE Him as our Lord and Master. We are grateful for the fellowship with Him, for such a sight of Christ rejoices our heart knowing that He has taken away the pollution and guilt of sin . . . we have “overcome” (1 Jn.5:4-5). We have victory through Christ Jesus our Lord (1 Cor.15:57).
And your joy no man taketh from you . . . a hypocrite has NO eternal joy, but the joy of a believer in Christ Jesus will last for ever because NO one can take it away from us. My friend, joy is more than happiness. Joy is bliss, delight, gladness deep in the heart, joy is knowing you have eternal life in Heaven (Jn.20:31; 1 Jn.5:13). Joy: (Mat.25:21; Jn.15:11; 16:24: 17:13; Rom.14:17; Gal.5:22; 1 Pet.1:8). No matter who you are, or where you are, if you have accepted Christ Jesus, you are a child of God (Jn.1:12-13). Even if you grieve and there are tears in your eyes, even if you have a broken heart, you can be certain that joy cometh in the morning (Ps.30:5), because He shall bring joy into your heart and life. I think that when we one day come into His awesome and majestic Presence and look back on this life, our only regret will be that we did not serve Him more, or suffer for Him more. The joy of His Presence will engulf any sorrow we may have had in this life.
John 16:23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. (KJV)
In that day ye shall ask me nothing . . . after His resurrection and ascension. The word ask could have two meanings, one to ask by inquiring, and the other to ask for help. Possibly the reference here is to both. While Jesus was with them, they had depended on Him for their needs, and also to a large degree, they brought their troubles to Him, expecting Him to help (Mat.8:25; Jn.11:3). They also depended on Him to explain to them the mysteries of His Gospel, and to remove their confusion about His doctrines. They had not gone to God through Him as the Mediator . . . they had gone directly to the Saviour Himself. Jesus now tells them that from here on, their requests were to be made to God the Father in His Name, and that He, by the power of His Spirit, would make known to them what Jesus would Himself do if He were bodily present. Their requests were not to be made to Him any more, but to the Father (Jn.14:13). “That day” means after He is gone.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you . . . prayer should be made to the Father in the Name of Christ, for He is the Mediator between God and man, and the only Way of access unto Him (Jn.14:6; Acts 4:12). Whatever is asked for, is to be asked on behalf of His Blood, His Righteousness and His Sacrifice . . . for only in this way is there no doubt of success . . . whatever is asked for will be given, for the Blood of His precious Son speaks loudly in the Father’s ears. The Father is always pleased with our praying in Jesus’ Name, for His Sacrifice was a sweet smelling savor (Eph.5:2), His mediation is powerful and successful (Heb.8:6; 12:24); and His Name always prevails (Jn.3:16; Mat.1:21,23).
John 16:24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. (KJV)
Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name . . . it is not that they had never prayed, for they had, and they wanted Jesus to teach them how to pray (Lk.11:1). Also see Mat.6:5-16 for His teachings on prayer. They just had not as yet considered Him to be the Great Mediator between God and man, but this is one of the Truths which would be more fully revealed to them by the Holy Spirit. They had prayed to Him especially for an increase of faith (Lk.17:5), and for many other things, but either they had only asked Jesus, He being present with them, and not the Father, or if they had asked the Father anything, they had not asked in the Name of Christ. But after Jesus’ death, they did (Acts 4:29-30).
Ask, and ye shall receive . . . asking the Father, in Jesus’ Name will give you what you ask for (Mat.7:7-8). This does NOT mean asking for selfish or greedy requests! It means something that will prepare you for your work of serving God and His people successfully, and giving all honor and glory to God . . . NOT yourself! Forget the pride! Be humble!
That your joy may be full . . . when a person does his work for the Lord cheerfully and willingly, there can be much pleasure in it, and there can be great satisfaction when you see the Gospel of Jesus Christ being spread, souls converted and Satan's grip on people being weakened. Love for your beloved Redeemer shall flourish and thrive, and He will see to it that your joy may be full.
John 16:25 These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father. (KJV)
These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs . . . proverbs or parables, meaning words spoken in a manner that appears obscure, puzzling and hard to understand. Although His statements in these chapters about His death and resurrection seem plain to us, we must remember that the apostles were filled with Jewish prejudices, and were unwilling to believe that He was about to die. Even the most clear statement would appear very vague and confused, and to them a mystery.
But the time cometh . . . probably means meaning either the time of his appearing unto them, after His resurrection to His ascension, which consisted of forty days (Acts 1:3), when He would instruct His apostles in the most awe-inspiring mysteries and Truths of His kingdom.
When I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall show plainly of the Father . . . some say that this refers to the time after His ascension to Heaven, when He would send the Holy Spirit to teach them the great Truths of religion. What He actually taught them in those 40 days is really not known. I shall show you plainly of the Father . . . Jesus said that He would send the Holy Spirit (Jn.16:7), and when He came, He continued the work of Christ, so it can be said that the teachings of the Holy Spirit were the teachings of Christ Himself. The Holy Spirit would show the will and plan of the Father; especially His plan in the establishment and spread of the Gospel of Christ, and in organizing the Gospel church.
John 16:26 At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: (KJV)
At that day ye shall ask in my name . . . He tells them that when they pray in His Name, He shall make intercession for them (Rom.8:34; Heb.7:25; 1 Jn.2:1-2). If they would pray in faith, the Father would not deny their request. Remember . . . this is NOT selfish or greedy requests, it is requests to better serve the Lord. The Father always heard Jesus, the Son, and when they (or we) pray in Jesus’ Name, He would hear them (and us). When the Holy Spirit was poured upon them on the day of Pentecost, they not only received His extraordinary gifts, and had a larger measure of His grace bestowed upon them; they were also blessed because they then better understood the throne of grace, the amazing advantages of it, they were better acquainted with the mediation of Christ, and the need of making use of His Name, His Blood, and His righteousness, in all their petitions and requests.
And I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you . . . Jesus had already promised this before (Jn.14:26). This is said, not as if the intercession of Christ for His people would stop, for He is always their Advocate with the Father (1 Jn.2:1), and ever lives to make intercession for them. He would pray the Father to ask His Father to hear them, and grant them whatever they should ask of Him in His Name.
John 16:27 For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. (KJV)
For the Father himself loveth you . . . the Father loved them too, and just as much as the Son did. He loved them from everlasting (1 Jn.4:9-10). He had given proofs of it, in the Gift of His Son to them and for them (Jn.3:16), and in calling them by His grace (Eph.2:8-9).
Because ye have loved me . . . the Father did not love them because of their love for Christ,
the Father's love to them was the cause of their love to Christ. They could be assured of the Father's love to them by their love for Christ, because if the Father had not loved them (1 Jn.4:8-9), they could not love God, or Christ. But since they did love Christ, it was clear that the Father loved them, thus their love is bound together with faith.
And have believed that I came out from God . . . Jesus the Son was sent by the Father (Jn.3:16). He was NOT an impostor! He was the TRUE Messiah, prophesied to come.
He would be the “Seed” of a woman Gen.3:15;
Gen.12:3; 18:18; Gal.4:4 Promised Seed of Abraham Ac.3:25; Mt.1:1; Lu.3:34; Gal.3:7,8,16
Gen.17:19 Promised Seed of Isaac Mt.1:2; Lu.3:34;
Num.24:17; Gen.28:14 Promised Seed of Jacob Lu.3:34; Mt.1:2;
Gen.49:10 Descendant from Tribe of Judah Lu.3:33; Mt.1:2-3;
Is.9:7; 11:1-5; 2 S.7:13 Heir to Throne of David Mt.1:1,6,18-25;
Mic.5:2 Place of Birth Mt:2:1-6; Lu.2:4-7;
Dan.9:25 Time of Birth Lu.2:1-7
Jesus was the One to come. All the Old Testament prophesies pointed to Him, and He fulfilled them all. Believing God (1 Jn.5:10-13), faith in Jesus (Gal.3:26), and love for Him (Mat.22:37) . . . all these go hand in hand, where the one is, there is the other! Faith comes about by love; they are the gifts of God's grace, the fruits and effects of His everlasting love, and those who possess them are God’s children (Jn.1:12-13; 3:3-8).
John 16:28 I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. (KJV)
I came forth from the Father . . . this is what the apostle John believed, and what Jesus in His discourses had been speaking of. His coming forth from the Father is to be understood, of His coming in the flesh in the fullness of time (Gal.4:4), which supposes that He was, that He existed as a divine Person before (Jn.1:1-2); that He was with the Father before (Jn.1:14,18); that He came forth from Him with His knowledge, mind and will. Jesus did NOT come of Himself, He was sent by the Father. He came willingly, He was not forced, He did not come against His will, even though He did know the outcome (His death).
And am come into the world . . . where He was before, was in Heaven’s safety, but He came into this wicked world to do a job only He could do! He came down from Heaven to preach the Gospel, call sinners to repentance, give life and light to multitudes, and to fulfill the law by obeying ALL its precepts (Mat.5:17), and bearing our penalty (Isa.53:5-6; Rom.5:6-10; 1 Pet.2:24; 3:18; 2 Cor.5:21). He suffered in our place, to save lost sinners, even the worst (chief) of them (1 Tim.1:15), IF they just believe!
Again, I leave the world . . . He was not renouncing or abandoning the government of the world, nor was He forsaking His people as their Mediator. He retains the same love for them, now and for ever. He will not leave them fatherless and comfortless. And the best part, He was not leaving it as to never return again, because He shall return! (Zec.14:1-5, Rev.19:11-21). He shall descend, in the same way that He ascended (Acts 1:9-11), BUT . . . this time He shall come to judge the world in righteousness (Ps.9:8; Acts 17:31). What He meant was that He was about to leave the world for He would die, having done the work He came to do.
And go to the Father . . . He would give an account of His work to Him, as His Righteous Servant. Jesus the Son, was faithful to the Father who had appointed Him. He carried out the affairs of His people; now He would appear in the Presence of God for them; to be their Advocate, make intercession for them, take possession of their mansions Heaven (Jn.14:2) in their name (1 Pet.1:4-5). He would take His place at the right hand of God to be glorified with the glory promised Him before the world was (Jn.17:5).
John 16:29 His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. (KJV)
His disciples said unto him . . . Our Saviour now had plainly told them that He was leaving the world. This would put an end to their questions about where He was going, and it satisfied them that in his former statements of His going away.
Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb . . . what He had said before was to them not easy to understand. They did not know what He meant. Now it was plain to them.
John 16:30 Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God. (KJV)
Now are we sure that thou knowest all things . . . not only did Jesus know all men, but all things, even the hidden secrets of men's hearts. So many people simply do not believe that Jesus is God and that He is omniscient. I hope that you are not one of them because the Bible, the Holy Word of Almighty God, clearly tells us that Jesus IS God!
And, needest not that any man should ask thee . . . the miraculous way in which He had just read their thoughts caused them to boldly declare their faith in His divinity.
By this we believe that thou camest forth from God . . . now they believed that Jesus “came forth from God.”
John 16:31 Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe? (KJV)
Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe? . . . “Do you now truly believe?” Jesus is searching their very hearts. Although they thought that they had a deep and strong faith . . . faith that would endure every trial, they would need every ounce of that faith in God to stand firm. Any time that we feel our faith is strong, it is time to check ourselves out. We need to be careful not to get over confident. The prayer to “increase our faith” should never be far from us.
John 16:32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. (KJV)
Behold the hour cometh, yea, is now come . . . His horrific suffering and death was very near! His prayer in chapter 17 . . . the REAL “Lord’s prayer” was probably spoken by Him within an hour . . . and then He went immediately into the garden, and was seized by wicked men led by Judas Iscariot (Mat.26:47; Mk.14:43; Jn.18:2-3,5).
That ye shall be scattered, every man to his own . . . the apostles would flee in all directions. Prophecy was fulfilled! Sheep scattered: (Zec.13:7; Mat.31; 26:56; Mk.14:27,50; Jn.16:32). And shall leave me alone . . . this is exactly what happened! They left Him alone in the hands of His enemies . . . all of them forsook Him and fled, some one way, some another, although Peter and John followed Him at a distance. They all came together again, but not to Christ, until after His resurrection from the dead. Peter followed afar off: (Mat.26:58; Mk.14:54; Lk.22:54). The Apostle John: (Jn.19:26-27).
And yet I am, not alone . . . our precious Saviour and Lord was NOT alone at this time! His friends forsook Him, but NOT His heavenly Father! Friends forsake Him: (Ps.38:11; 31:11; Job 19:13-17; Mat.26:56; Jn.16:32).
Because the Father is with me . . . not only because Jesus is the Son of God, but because of His union to Him, and as being ONE with Him (Jn.10:30), and because as Mediator, the Father’s Promise to uphold Him, and assist Him in His human nature. And even though the Father withdrew His gracious and comforting Presence from Christ Jesus when He took on the huge and loving responsibility of being our Sacrifice (Jn.1:29,36), He bearing OUR sins, and standing in OUR place, yet the Father was not far away with His powerful Presence. He turned away from Jesus because He is SO holy and pure and could not stand to look on OUR sins! (Mat.27:46; Mk.15:34). “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Jesus knew why the Father had turned away from Him! But because He loves us so much, He endured the horrific agony of the beatings and death on the cross. Psalms 22:17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. (KJV) . . . Do you really see what this says? They beat and flogged Jesus so horrendously that His bones were exposed. Have you ever really thanked Him for what He did for you?
John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (KJV)
These things I have spoken unto you . . . these things, the words He spoke to His apostles in chapters 14 and 15 of John. These words pretty much cover all that He had said in general, concerning His departure from them; His going to prepare a place for them; His union to them, and their fellowship with Him. He also told of the different persecutions and afflictions they would endure for His sake . . . but too, the many blessings both of grace and glory they would enjoy if they trusted and obeyed Him (Jn.14:15; 15:10).
That in me ye might have peace . . . He makes it clear, “in Him” they would have peace, NOT in or from the world! My dear friend, that goes for us today! There is absolutely NO true, solid and permanent peace, to be enjoyed in the world. The world offers only temporary things, that are here today and gone tomorrow! Only our Lord Jesus can give a spiritual peace, deep down in the soul, that NO one can take away! It is in Him, and Him alone, in His Person, His Blood, His Righteousness and His Sacrifice, that can bring peace, pardon and atonement. Only in Jesus can a soul find any true, rock-solid peace, rest, comfort and joy! He is the only Way we can find opposition to God’s wrath, ruin, Hell and eternal damnation. This peace by Christ Jesus, was made possible for His people by the Blood of His cross. Have you accepted it? There is NO charge, it is free (Rom.6:23; Eph.2:8-9).
In the world ye shall have tribulation . . . Christ Jesus IS the omniscient God, He is Truth itself (Jn.14:6). Christ Jesus was all His life on Earth as Man, a man of sorrows (Isa. 53:3). From His divine appointment that so determined it (Acts 2:23; ,3:18; 4:28), from the natural hostility of the world to the saints; from the experience of the people of God in all ages; from the need of tribulation to try the graces to bring about the earthly, spiritual, and eternal good of believers. Although they (and us) have tribulation in the world, it would not be punishment for sin, but sent as Fatherly corrections and chastenings for their good, that they may not be condemned with the world. It will be only in this present world they have it, for as soon as they leave this world, they will have done with tribulation:
But be of good cheer, I have overcome the world . . . it is very clear how the phrase, "in the world ye shall have tribulation" is preceded before hand with these words, "that in me ye might have peace", and followed with "be of good cheer." ALL believers in spite of their tribulations, have a tremendous reason to be of good cheer, because their sins are forgiven (Heb.8:12; 10:17; Ps.103:12; Mic.7:18-19), the love of God is shed abroad in their hearts (Rom.5:5), their redemption draws nigh (Lk.21:28), and they have hope of eternal life (Tit.1:2), and another tremendous reason: because as Christ here says, "I have overcome the world." Satan, the god and prince of the world, along with all his principalities and powers, have tempted the people of the world starting with Adam and Eve (Gen.3:1-7) and shall continue until Jesus puts him in Hell (Rev.20:10). But, we can be of good cheer because Jesus has overcome the world, and we also have overcome the devil (Jn.2:13-14; 4:4-5). Because Jesus had victory, we too have victory! This is the conclusion of our Lord's words to His apostles.
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