Jesus said to his disciples:
“Now I am going to the one who sent me,
and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’
But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts.
But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go.
For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you.
But if I go, I will send him to you.
And when he comes he will convict the world
in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation:
sin, because they do not believe in me;
righteousness, because I am going to the Father
and you will no longer see me;
condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.”
16:5 Not one of you asks me: the difficulty of reconciling this with Simon Peter’s question in Jn 13:36 and Thomas’ words in Jn 14:5 strengthens the supposition that the last discourse has been made up of several collections of Johannine material.
16:8–11 These verses illustrate the forensic character of the Advocate’s role: in the forum of the disciples’ conscience he prosecutes the world. He leads believers to see (a) that the basic sin was and is refusal to believe in Jesus; (b) that, although Jesus was found guilty and apparently died in disgrace, in reality righteousness has triumphed, for Jesus has returned to his Father; (c) finally, that it is the ruler of this world, Satan, who has been condemned through Jesus’ death (Jn 12:32).
“because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts” John 16:6
Jesus knew this would be hard for them to understand. When Jesus has something hard to tell us, He knows it is hard. He understands. We may still need to hear it, and we may wish He would back away from it, but He won’t. He will tell it to us, and tell it to us in love.
But Jesus would not let their sorrow go unchallenged. Yes, Jesus knew they were filled with sorrow because of what He has told them. But, despite all of that He wanted them to know that it was to their advantage. Jesus wanted them to trust Him in something hard to understand. He said this because He wanted them to make a concerted effort to trust Him at this point.
Trust in God, belief in Jesus, has something to do with our will. When we make decisions to trust Him, it has to be in all things – easy and hard – as this will be our advantage – His will and not our own.
May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.