Light of the World: John 16:5-33

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On Sunday Jeremy talked about Jesus’ prediction that the world would treat his followers the same way it had treated him. They would be misunderstood, rejected, and hated because he had called them to be different from the world. Jesus wanted to make sure we understood things wouldn’t always be easy—to adjust our expectations. Today we look at the final section of his farewell discourse, in which he revisits some of the topics he introduced earlier.



Opening Discussion:

Have you ever judged, misunderstood, or treated differently (worse) because of your faith?






Looking at Scripture:

Read John 16:5-15.


Jesus says it’s “best” for his followers that he would go away, so that the Advocate (Holy Spirit) would come. What are the advantages of having the Holy Spirit over Jesus’ physical presence? What are the disadvantages?






What is the Holy Spirit’s role in “the world”?






What is the Holy Spirit’s role in the life of a believer?






Read John 16:16-33.


Take a moment to celebrate: between Sundays and small groups, we have now read the entire book of John!


Jesus has already described many ways their relationship with him is about to change, and now he adds another: direct and unfettered access to his Father. Why is this such a big deal, and how does it relate to his departure? In other words, what was about to change about the way they would relate to God?






What do you think Jesus is referring to in verse 22 that would lead to permanent joy?






Why does Jesus say he has shared all of this with them?






What does Jesus mean that he has “overcome” the world? Note also that 1 John 5:4 says that “everyone born of God overcomes the world.”






Personal Application


John uses the Greek word “Paraclete” to describe the role of both Jesus (see 14:16) and the Holy Spirit in our lives. This word means someone who comes alongside to render aid or assistance, and can be translated as advocate, comforter, encourager, counselor, or simply helper. Can you think of a time in your own life when you have experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit in one of these ways? How do you need someone to come alongside to help you now?






In verse 32, Jesus makes it clear that he knows his disciples will desert, disappoint, and abandon him. But he doesn’t seem to be too worried about that, mentioning it almost casually. What does this tell us about how he views the ways we seemingly fail and disappoint him today?