Chapter 16 centers around the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The disciples could not understand why Christ must leave them, so He was showing them that His return to the Father would make possible greater blessings in the coming of the Holy Spirit. The Christian life cannot be lived in the energy of the flesh. We must have the Spirit of God living in us if we are to grow spiritually and live the life that glorifies Christ. In this great chapter the Lord describes the work of the Holy Spirit through the believer.
In verses 1-11 Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; in verses 12-15 He tells us that the Holy Spirit instructs the Christian; in verses 16-22 that the Holy Spirit encourages the Christian; and in verses 23- 33 that the Holy Spirit helps the Christian pray.
Chapter 17 contains Christ's High Priestly Prayer, and has often been called "The Holy of Holies of John's Gospel." In it we have the privilege of hearing the Son of God in conversation with God the Father. In verses 1-8 Christ prays for Himself; in verses 9-19 He prays for His disciples; and in verses 20-26 He prays for His Church.
In chapter 18 Jesus leaves the place of prayer for His meeting with His enemies. The chapter is divided into three parts: The arrest of Jesus is covered in verses 1-14; the denial of Jesus is covered in verses 15-27; and the rejection of Jesus is covered in verses 28-40.
Much has been written about how unfair and illegal Jesus' trial was and about Pilate's cowardly indecision. Note several aspects of His trial: It was held at night and Jesus was assumed to be guilty; Jesus was mistreated while bound and false witnesses testified against Him; and after the secret night trial, Jesus was led to Pilate for the final death sentence. Note that the Jews would not enter the Gentile's hall for fear they "should be defiled"; yet they condemned an innocent Jesus to death. Then, at least seven times Pilate went from the hall to the Jews outside, trying to work out a compromise with them.
Jesus' trial was a picture of Christless religion--people straining at gnats and swallowing camels!
Index of Daily Devotions