As we are being challenged to read and study the book of John, I wanted to share some of my personal sermon notes with you to help you understand the book. I preached through the entire book over the course of 1 year when I pastored First Baptist Church Del Rio. Enjoy!
Introduction—Names are important. They identify who you are. You carry your name for life. Last names are also a way that people are associated with a particular family. Some names carry more weight than others.
Jesus’ name is the weightiest name in the world. In His name anything can be asked. There is power in His name.
Stand & Read: John 16:16-33
16 Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”
17 At this, some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 18 They kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he is saying.” 19 Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’?
20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. 23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. 25 “Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”
29 Then Jesus’ disciples said, “Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. 30 Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.” 31 “Do you now believe?” Jesus replied. 32 “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. 33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
- Asking in His name, even when you don’t understand, verses 16-19
- Verse 16—Jesus has repeated Himself several times now in the Gospel of John by saying to His followers you will not see me.
- In the first part of verse 16, He continues to assure them that He will be leaving them for the greater purpose that He came here to do. He came to rescue us from the enemy and the power of death.
- In the last part of verse 16, Jesus alludes to His resurrection, by saying, “and then you see me in a little while.” He is not talking about the Holy Spirit here, because He has made the distinction of Himself and the Holy Spirit.
- We don’t have to understand everything to ask God. In fact, when we ask God and aren’t really sure what to say, our faith is relaint on the Holy Spirit.
- Romans 8:26-27—26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
- Verse 17 & 18—Here are the closest followers completely baffled by Jesus statements. They admit they don’t understand. It is very confusing since they had abandoned everything to follow Christ, and now He is saying that He is leaving. The disciples are completely immersed in their current situation. Jesus is trying His best to explain to them what is going to become of Him.
- Verse 19—Jesus loves us and wants us to know that He can tell when we are confused and He really wants to help us to understand, so He interjects and asks, “do you want some help deciphering the statement I just made to you?”
Illustration—Jesus heals a possessed boy, Mark 9:14-29
14 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him. 16 “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked. 17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.” 19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” 20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. 21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”“From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” 23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” 25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up. 28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”
Application—Does your not understanding keep you from asking God in His name?
- Asking in His name, brings favor, verses 20-28
- Verse 20—in life, there will be times of mourning, grief, and things that don’t go our way. Jesus wants you to know that if you have your life placed in His name, our troubles will turn to joy. We have the comfort of knowing we are not alone. Isn’t that what is needed in those turbulent times?
- Verse 21—Women who have had a child know the pain and the joy of childbirth. We (men) can know about it, many of us have been in the delivery room when our children have been born, but we were the supporters. We will have to take women at their word that have a child has pain associated with it, but the results of going through all the misery is worth all the joy that follows. Jesus said you will have joy following the pain.
- Verse 22—Wow! Jesus assures us that because of His resurrection, we will experience joy; joy that cannot be taken away.
- Verse 23—Jesus says once you realize I have been resurrected, His reason for death and leaving the disciples physically will be self-evident. Jesus then says, you will now be able to direct your asking to the Father Himself in the name of Jesus. God Himself will be taking requests and responding to us directly.
- Verse 24—Jesus now is giving a prayer class to His disciples. He tells them before when you prayed, you prayed to the Father without any attachments. Now He says since I will not be here physically the next time you pray, you can ask my Father and attachment my name to the prayer. When you do that He will receive, Jesus says. What do we receive? Complete joy. Joy in knowing He will hear you and He will respond. God’s responses vary. Just because He doesn’t answer yes to your request, doesn’t mean He didn’t respond. His response can be no or even wait. But to know that you will receive even if it is no, should make your joy complete. If God answers no, then it is for your best interest He has at heart. Receive it and be joyous.
- Verse 25—Jesus limitation about what He discloses to us has a lot to do with our faith maturity. When we are immature in our faith, the knowledge the Spirit imparts to us will be limited to our willingness to seek Him in all that we say and do. So the more time you spend with God, the more wisdom, knowledge, and illumination you will receive. God is not in your life to hold back information from you; He is in your life to lavish upon you the riches of His mercy and grace through your asking in His name.
- Verse 26-27—Jesus explains one more time that we can go straight to God with our prayers. When we place our faith in Christ, we are automatically added to the guest of honor list. Our prayers go to the head of line since Jesus’ name carries favor.
- Verse 28—Jesus sums up His entrance into the world and explains that He is now going back to His Father.
Illustration—Do you know that you are favored by God? You carry the name that is above all names that garners favor all over the world no matter where you go. At the name Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. The name Jesus means everything.
Application—Have you received the favor of God by asking in His name?
- Asking in His name, brings clarity, verses 29-33
- Verse 29-30—There is finally a breakthrough with the disciples. They get it. After many explanations of why He came to earth and why He is now leaving, the light bulb comes on. Do you ever feel that way about God? You go through periods of confusion, unbelief, and not having a good understanding of who He is and what He wants for your life. You are not alone. You see it takes time to understand what the complex creator to impart His wisdom and understanding to us.
- Verse 31—What a question Jesus poses—do you know believe? After they just told Him that they understand and believe. The reason is Jesus knows that when He goes through the trail of crucifixion, they will have their faith tested again.
- Verse 32—Jesus knows that only God will be able to sustain Him through the upcoming turmoil that He will endure. It serves as a reminder to us that no human being can fill the void that only God can fill. God is the only one who can help us through some of the trials we will endure. Others can support us around us, but ultimately it is God that carries us.
- Verse 33—What a beautiful ending to our text this morning. Be peaceful about what God has explained to you toady. Take heart in knowing that Jesus has overcome the world! He has defeat the last foe of God, and that is death. He has overcome and it is clear.
Illustration—A.C.T.S., Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication
Application—Clarity comes from God as you ask in His name
Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,