The glory of the Messiah, 13:1-20:31

1. The farewell discourses, 13:1-17:26

x] The Spirit's judgment of the world


In the farewell discourse Jesus has spoken of the Holy Spirit as a helper and friend, 14:16ff, now again he speaks to how the Spirit will minister in the years to come.


The Paraclete serves as the prosecutor who convicts the world of its sin of unbelief, its flawed righteousness and its judgment of Jesus. He also serves as the one who will complete the teachings of Jesus.


i] Context; See 13:1-17. Stibbe notes that as with 14:1-31, the passage before us, 16:5(4b)-33, is built on questions / reactions by the disciples, with each question / reaction serving as a structural marker introducing the next step in the argument. Stibbe proposes three sections:

Jesus' departure and its impact on the disciples, v4b-15;

Jesus' departure and return and its impact on the disciples, v16-24;

Jesus' revelation and its impact on the disciples, v25-33.

It is clear that there is no real break between chapter 15 and chapter 16, with 16:1-4 dealing with the same theme covered in 15:18-27, namely, that the disciples must face a hostile world, a hostility which Jesus himself faced.


ii] Structure: The Spirit's judgment of the world:

Jesus' opening declaration, v5-6;

"I am going to him who sent me."

Jesus' ministry continues through the Holy Spirit, v7.

"If I go I will send the Paraclete to you."

The Holy Spirit will bring judgment on the world, v8-11;

"He will convict the world ..........."

The Spirit's ministry will focus on revelation, v12-15;

"He will guide you into all truth."


iii] Interpretation:

The passage before us is controlled by Jesus' statement, "I am going to him who sent me", v5. This statement impacts the disciples - they are grief-stricken, v6 - but they are encouraged with the promised coming of the Advocate, v7. Jesus then explains the Advocate's task, exercised through the preaching of the disciples. The disciples' are to prove / convince / expose / convict the world of its wrong-headedness with regard sin, righteousness and judgment; "wrong, right, and judgement", NEB. Then, further to the ministry of the Advocate / the Spirit of truth, Jesus point out that he will guide the disciples into all truth, v12-15.

So, Jesus is going to the Father, yet his disciples do not comprehend the significance of his departure, v5. Jesus' departure will fill the disciples with sadness, yet although his ministry on earth will cease, it will be continued by the Spirit, v6-7. The Spirit's ministry will entail the judgment of the world, v8-11, and the revelation of truth to God's people, v12-15.


The Spirit will guide you into all the truth: The limitations of Jesus human ministry, its time constraints etc., left the disciples short on gospel truth. One function of the Spirit's ministry is to complete what is lacking in the disciples' understanding of the gospel, so revealing in full God's will for humankind. Note how the apostle Paul, through the inspiration of the Spirit, functions as the exegete of Jesus' teachings. In fact, without Paul's take on the gospel we would struggle to understand the intent of Jesus' teachings, cf. Lk.10:25-37. Of course, as to whether this ministry of the Spirit builds on Jesus' teaching, or just interprets Jesus' teaching, or even just reminds the disciples of Jesus' teachings, remains a matter of some debate. Yet, it is generally agreed that the apostolic testimony of the New Testament is the extent of divine revelation to humanity.


iv] Exposition: A simple exposition of this passage may be found in the linked pew-level Sermon Notes.

Text - 16:5

The Spirit's judgment of the world, v5-15: i] Jesus' opening declaration, "I am going to him who sent me", along with the disciples' response - grief, v5-6. There is some debate as to whether v4b stands with 15:18ff, or with the passage before us. What things did Jesus not tell his disciples "from the beginning"? Was it that the disciples would face persecution along with their master - the subject of 4:18-5:4a? Was it that Jesus is going to the Father (via the cross)? Neither fact was revealed to the disciples "from the beginning"!

de "but" - but/and [now]. Transitional, introducing the next step in the argument, and therefore left untranslated.

uJpagw pres. "I am going" - Jesus constantly refers to his death in John as going to the Father.

ton pemyanta (pempw) aor. part. "him who sent [me]" - [toward] the one having sent [me]. The participle serves as a substantive; "I'm going back to the Father who sent me", CEV.

ex (ek) + gen. "[none] of [you]" - [and none] from [you]. Here this preposition serves as a partitive genitive, as NIV.

erwta/ (erwtaw) pres. "asks" - asks [me, where are you going]? Peter did ask this question, 13:36. Possibly the point here is that the disciples have asked the question and so there is no need to ask further, although their sadness naturally remains, so Lagrange. Others suggest that we have a source problem, and since the editor is faithful to his sources he did not try to smooth out this inconsistency.


alla "- / rather" - but. Possibly adversative, "but", as ESV, but then we have a contrast between the question "where are you going" and the disciples grief. It's as if the disciples' attitude / faith is evidenced by their response, a positive response prompting the question, and a negative response prompting grief. It is certainly true that the disciples should rejoice in the fact that Jesus is returning to the Father, although it is not unreasonable to feel grief in the act of "going" via a cross. So, it is more likely that the conjunction here expresses an accessory idea, "an addition to the point in an emphatic way", BDF:448.6. "None of you asks me, 'Where are you going?' This is because you are distressed at what I have told you", Phillips.

oJti "because" - Introducing a causal clause explaining why the disciples haven't asked the obvious question "where are you going?" Note the not-so-helpful retranslation by NIV11,"you are filled with grief because I have said these things."

uJmin dat. pro. "-" - [i have said these things] to you. Dative of indirect object.

peplhrwken (plhrow) perf. "you are filled [with grief]" - [sorrow] has filled, fulfilled, completed [the heart of you]. The disciples' inner being / heart is full of sadness. "The disciples were too concerned about their own loss to ponder the implication of Jesus going to the Father; if they were to do so their pain and doubt would be set to rest", Beasley-Murray.


ii] Jesus' ministry on earth will continue through the Holy Spirit, v7.

alla "but" - Adversative / contrastive; "nevertheless."

thn alhqeian (a) "[I tell you] the truth / very truly [I tell you]" - [i tell] the truth [to you]. Accusative direct object of the verb "to say." Jesus uses the phrase "I am telling you the truth" a number of times. It may be like the "truly, truly, I say unto you", and therefore is used to emphasize the following words, or it may imply that the following words are general revelation rather than a particular word to the disciples alone. "I am telling you the simple truth", Phillips.

sumferei (sumferw) pres. "it is to [your] good" - it is better, expedient, an advantage, profitable. A reference to Jesus' death. "It is for your own good."

uJmin dat. "you" - for you. Dative of interest, advantage.

iJna + subj. "that [I am going away]" - that [i go away]. Introducing a noun clause subject of the impersonal verb "it is better"; "that I go away is better for you."

gar "-" - for. Introducing a causal clause explaining why it is better "that I go away."

ean + subj. "unless [I go away]" - if [i do not go away]. Introducing a negated conditional clause 3rd. class, where the proposed condition has the possibility of coming true, "if, as may be the case, I do not go away, then ..." "If I do not depart", Moffatt.

oJ paraklhtoV "the Counselor" - the paraclete = helper, comforter, encourager ..... cf. 14:16-17. Note that 14:26, a disputed verse, is the only verse where the Holy Spirit and the Comforter are integrally linked. Some argue that they are not one and the same, although few accept this argument. For the meaning of this title see 14:26.

ouk eleusetai (ercomai) fut. "will not come [to you]" - The negative construction is emphatic; "will never come to you."

de "but" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step to a counterpoint, as NIV.

ean subj. ."if [I go]" - if, as may be the case, [i go, then i will send him toward you]. Serving as a second conditional clause, 3rd. class, as above; omitted in some manuscripts.


iii] The Spirit's ministry will bring judgment upon the world, v8-11. "He will not simply convict the world as sinful, as without righteousness, as under judgement, but he will show beyond contradiction that it is wanting in the knowledge of what sin, righteousness, and judgement really are", Westcott.

elqwn (ercomai) aor. part. "when he comes" - [and] having come. The participle is adverbial, temporal, as NIV.

elegxei (elegcw) fut. "[he] will prove [the world] to be in the wrong" - [that one] will expose [the world]. The meaning of this word is open to some debate:

expose, bring to light;


reprove, punish, blame;


interpret, expound.

Barrett opts for "convict", so Carson, "convicting it (the world) of its own guilt and calling for repentance." "Prove", in the sense of "expose", carries a similar sense, cf., Hoskyns, Brown and Beasley-Murray. So, the word is probably being used in the sense of "show someone his sin and to summon him to repentance", TDNT. The Spirit's task, through the preaching of the disciples, is to expose the sinfulness of the world peri "with respect to", three particular failings / sins - the Paraclete "convicts the world of its sin, its righteousness, and its judgment", Carson. The NIV11 translation is to be preferred.

peri + gen. "in regard to / about" - about. Expressing reference / respect; "with respect to, about, concerning"

aJmartiaV (a) "sin" - This word, as with "righteousness" and "judgment", does not have an article. This may indicate that a particular type of sin is not in mind, but sin itself; a basic idea, rather than an individual instance, so Brown. cf. Bultmann. Even so, given v9, its not "sin" in general. The church, instructed, guided and empowered through the Spirit, testifying to Jesus in the world, will convict the world of its sin of unbelief - the world's sin is its failure to believe in Jesus, v9.

dikaiosunhV (h) "righteousness" - [and about] righteousness, justice. Brown suggests "justice" is better, possibly even the justice of God, a justice which rests on his character of love and mercy. Yet, Jesus is addressing the world's righteousness, and he may well have in mind the law-righteousness of "the Jews" (John's readership being Hellenistic Jews of the dispersion). Jesus, the one righteous Israelite, has exposed Israel's self-righteous religious elite, and now that he goes to the Father, v10, it will be the role of the Paraclete, through the gospel mission of the church, to expose / convict the world of its flawed self-righteousness. Convicting the world with respect to its righteousness does not involve progressing social justice, but rather progressing the gospel.

krisewV (iV ewV) "judgment" - [and about] judgment. Again, Spirit empowered gospel ministry is in mind here, a ministry that convicts the world of its judgment of Jesus. "The judgment of which the Spirit convicts the world is its multifaceted (devil inspired, v11) spiritual blindness, supremely displayed in its treatment of Jesus", Carson.


The Paraclete / Holy Spirit, serving as the divine prosecuting attorney, convicts / exposes the world of its sin because the world of human habitation refuses to believe in Jesus

men ..... de "-" - Establishing an adversative comparative construction, "on the one hand ..... but on the other ....", although here virtually setting up a list, so possibly, "First, with respect to sin ..... Second, respect to righteousness ....... Third / finally, with respect to judgment .....", v9-11.

oJti "because" - [about sin] because. Barrett argues that in this verse, and the ones following, the conjunction serves to introduce a causal clause explaining why the Spirit convicts the world of its sin, namely "because" it refused to believe in Jesus, but Brown suggests it is epexegetic (explanatory) and therefore "in that." The point is much the same, either way.

ou pisteuousin (pisteuw) pres. "people do not believe" - they do not believe [into me]. Present tense indicating prolonged disbelief and thus exposing the nature of the world's sin. "The Spirit will show how sinfully wrong was their (the world's) rejection of God's appointed messenger", Hunter.


The Paraclete / Holy Spirit, serving as the divine prosecuting attorney, convicts / exposes the world of its flawed and empty righteousness because by going to the Father, Jesus releases the Spirit to perform this ministry.

de "-" - but/and [about righteousness]. Continuing the men ... de construction; "Second, with respect to righteousness ..."

oJti "because [I am going]" - because [i go to the father and no longer do you see me]. Again, introducing either an epexegetic or causal clause; "in that I am going", or "because I am going". The sense of this clause is not overly clear. The point is possibly that the world condemned Jesus, but Jesus is going to the Father and will stand in a higher court, justified, and thus the world's sense of justice will be exposed as a sham, eg., Hunter, "The Spirit will show that Christ's death was not a criminal's just punishment but a going to the Father who, by receiving him, vindicated the rightness of his cause." Carson makes the point that Jesus, as messiah, God's great I AM, shone light into darkness, showing up the vanity of the world's pretensions, its empty righteousness. Jesus is no longer able to perform this role, but the Spirit, through the ministry of the church, is able to convict the world of its righteousness because Jesus is going to the Father.


The Paraclete / Holy Spirit, serving as the divine prosecuting attorney, convicts / exposes the world of its perverse judgment of Jesus because Jesus impending victory over Satan enables his return to the Father and the sending of the Spirit.

de "-" - but/and [about judgment]. Concluding the men .... de ... construction; "and third / finally, with respect to judgment .."

oJti "because" - that, because. The hoti clause here seems more epexegetic than causal, whereas the first two uses seem more causal. None-the-less, translators usually opt for one or other in translating v9-11. The Spirit convicts / exposes the world with respect to judgment because of Jesus' impending victory over Satan on the cross, thus enabling his return to the Father and the sending of the Holy Spirit to expose, through the gospel ministry of the church, that the world's judgment of Jesus was "profoundly wrong and morally perverse", Carson. "About judgement in that (because) the prince of this world is already condemned", NJB.

tou kosmou (oV) gen. "[the prince] of this world" - [the ruler] of this world. The genitive is adjectival, attributive, idiomatic / subordination; "the ruler over this world", cf., 12:31, 14:30. Always worth keeping in mind when next singing the chorus "He has the whole world in his hand."

kekritai (krinw) perf. pas. "now stands condemned" - has been condemned, judged .... Satan was defeated by Christ on the cross and thus stands condemned. Along with this perspective, the New Testament states that although defeated, Satan remains master of his domain, at least for the present, Eph.2:2, 4:12.


iv] The Spirit's ministry will center on the revelation of divine truth for God's people, v12-15. As already indicated, there is debate over the extent of the Spirit's role in revelation, from bringing to mind Jesus' teachings, to interpreting Jesus' teachings, to completing Jesus' teachings. "Completing" is indicated by v12, so Carson, and this with the other two elements produces the New Testament, the evident consequence of the Spirit's teaching ministry.

eti adv. "-" - yet [many things i have]. Temporal adverb, serving a transitional function; "I still have many things to tell you." Best left untranslated, "I have much more to tell you", Rieu.

legein (legw) pres. inf. "to say" - to say. The infinitive serves as an object complement stating something about the accusative object "much more / many things"

uJmin dat. pro. "to you" - Dative of indirect object.

alla "-" - but. Adversative; "but you are not able to bear these things now."

bastazein (bastazw) pres. inf. "bear" - [you are not able] to bear, carry. The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the negated verb "you are not able". "Bear", in the sense of unable to understand at this point of time, but also possibly endure the full threat of future persecution.


The Holy Spirit "accurately represents the truth regarding Jesus; he is the eschatological gift of God; he imparts the true knowledge of God; he is operative in both worship and sanctification; and he points people to the person of Jesus", kostenberger.

de "but" - but/and. Transitional, setting up a contrast, as NIV.

oJtan + subj. "when" - when [that one comes]. This construction usually forms an indefinite temporal clause, as NIV.

thV alhqeiaV (a) gen. "[the Spirit] of truth" - The genitive "of truth", cf. 14:17, 15:26, is possibly objective, thus "the Spirit who communicates the truth / guides you along the a way", yet it is more likely that the genitive is simple adjectival, limiting / particularizing the character of the Spirit. The phrase was understood by the early church fathers to indicate the teaching / instructing role of the Spirit.

oJdhghsei (odhgew) fut. "he will guide" - he will guide [you]. "He will show you the way."

eiV "into" - into [all, every truth]. Possibly also en, "in", as both prepositions have equal manuscript support. "Into" in the sense that truth is the goal of the guiding. "In", in the sense that truth is the sphere of the guiding. Prepositions are used loosely in New Testament Greek and so it is difficult to discern shades of difference, particularly between these two.

gar "-" - for [he will not speak]. Introducing a causal clause explaining why the Spirit will guide believers into all truth, because, he only conveys what he hears from the Father.

af (apo) + gen. "from [himself]" - Expressing source/origin; "he will not say of his own accord", Cassirer.

all (alla) "-" - but. Strong adversative standing in a counterpoint construction; "not .... but ....."

akouei (akouw) fut. "he hears" - [what things] he will hear. Some manuscripts have the present tense, others future and some even a subjunctive Mood; "whatever he may hear". It is either, "hears", a present ongoing continuous hearing, or "will hear." The Comforter ministers both now and then so it's either or. Westcott goes for the Present Tense and argues that the message of the Comforter is ongoing and developing whereas the message of the Son is complete. From a textual point of view the more unlikely reading, namely present tense, is the more reliable reading, given that the surrounding verbs are future.

anaggellei (anaggellw) fut. "he will tell" - he will announce, proclaim, disclose, declare. The LXX uses the word of a revelation declared by God, often of the things to come.

uJmin dat. pro. "you" - to you. Dative of indirect object.

ta ercomena (ercomai) pres. part. "what is yet to come" - and the things coming [he will announce to you]. The participle serves as a substantive, accusative direct object of the verb "to announce." Possibly the last things, but more likely the necessary revelation of gospel truth for the church following Christ's glorification.


The thought here is that the Spirit fills out the revelation / the gospel made known to the disciples by Christ, so Carson.

ekeinoV pro. "he" - that one. Emphatic by use.

eme "me" - [will glorify] me. Emphatic by position.

oJti "by [taking] / because" - because. Probably expressing cause/reason, "because". "He will glorify me, for he will draw on what is mine and reveal it to you", Moffatt.

ek + gen."from" - from. Expressing separation; "away from." This may imply that the Comforter selects from the truth possessed by Jesus and reveals it as or when it is appropriate, but Brown argues that this is very unlikely.

tou gen. art. "what [is mine]" - the [of me he will take, receive]. The article serves as a nominalizer turning the possessive pronoun "my" into a substantive, "that which is mine."

uJmin dat. pro "[making it known] to you / [he will make known] to you" - [and communicate, announce it] to you. Dative of indirect object.


The point being made is that "the persons of the Godhead collaborate in the task of divine self-disclosure", Kostenberger.

panta "all" - everything [which the father has is mine]. Nominative subject of the verb to-be. Referring to the truth and not the Father's divine nature. Jesus does posses the divine nature, but it probably can't be argued from this verse.

dia touto "This is why [I said]" - because of this = therefore. This causal construction is usually inferential, referring to what precedes.

oJti "[I said]" - [i said] that [he receives the of me and and will announce it]. Introducing an object clause / dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what Jesus said. For tou emou, "the of me", see v14; "that which is mine."

uJmin dat. pro. "to you" - Dative of indirect object.


John Introduction



[Pumpkin Cottage]