|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
16:1-6 Our Lord Jesus, by giving his disciples notice of trouble, designed that the terror might not be a surprise to them. It is possible for those who are real enemies to God's service, to pretend zeal for it. This does not lessen the sin of the persecutors; villanies will never be changed by putting the name of God to them. As Jesus in his sufferings, so his followers in theirs, should look to the fulfilling of Scripture. He did not tell them sooner, because he was with them to teach, guide, and comfort them; they needed not then this promise of the Holy Spirit's presence. It will silence us to ask, Whence troubles come? It will satisfy us to ask, Whither go they? for we know they work for good. It is the common fault and folly of melancholy Christians to look only on the dark side of the cloud, and to turn a deaf ear to the voice of joy and gladness. That which filled the disciples' hearts with sorrow, was too great affection for this present life. Nothing more hinders our joy in God, than the love of the world, and the sorrow of the world which comes from it.
Verses 1-6. - (c) The bitter issues of the hostility of the world. Verse 1. - These things. What things? Primarily the explanation he had given of the opposition and hatred of the world, and the vast consolation which he had promised in the identification of the disciples with himself, and the witness which would be borne by the Paraclete; but not exclusively, for they include all the preparatory instructions based on his own Person, his going to the Father, his return in the power of the Spirit. Have I spoken to you, that ye should not be offended; that you should not be made to fall over the stumbling block of persecution, and the refusal of the people to hear your message concerning me. For the moment he passes over the terrible stumbling and falling of that very night, whose shadows were deepening as the hours moved on, and he anticipated their future temptations and the source of their ultimate heroism.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
These things have I spoken unto you,.... Concerning the world's hatred and persecution of them, and the little regard they would show to their doctrine: these things Christ thought, proper to give them notice of before hand, that expecting them, they might be prepared for them, and be fortified against them;
that, says he,
ye should not be offended: his view in speaking of them, was not to discourage them, but to prevent their stumbling at them, and falling by them. Hardships coming upon persons at unawares, bear the harder upon their spirits, and they are more apt to take offence at them and be impatient under them, which is prevented by previous intimation: had Christ said nothing of these things that should befall his disciples, they might have surprised them, and have been a stumbling to them; and might have tempted them to have relinquished their profession of him, and dropped their ministerial work; whereas being apprized of them before hand, they were not so shocking to them. This shows the tender concern of Christ for his disciples, how careful he was to remove, every occasion of stumbling, or what might be matter of offence to them; and may teach us to act in such like manner towards one another, in this, or any other case.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Joh 16:1-33. Discourse at the Supper Table Concluded.
1-5. These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended—both the warnings and the encouragements just given.
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