study on John 16

Using, I pulled this Bible Study together for small group tomorrow night. Its based on John 16:17-33


Read the section.

What are some statements / elements of this passage that stand out? Why? What ideas are repeated? (Repeated words/phrases often have high importance)

  • Looking for “I tell you the truth” or “Amen, Amen” and “little while”

The Disciples’ Grief Will Turn to Joy

17Some 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’?” 18They kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he is saying.”

  • NOTE: asking, zeteo, means to seek. They are seeking this information from one another, even though they do not have the answers.
  • Share a time when you sought answers in this world and did not go to God.

19Jesus 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’?

  • NOTE: the phrase “little while” (mikron in Greek) is used 4 times in vv 16-19, which gives it emphasis. They understand that Jesus’ departure is imminent.
  • What event is Jesus describing when He talks about leaving the disciples and then returning to them? (note: context suggests Jesus is describing the climactic events of his revelation, which will indeed literally take place in a little while.)

20I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 21A 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. 22So 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.

  • What does the metaphor of child bearing tell you about the disciple’s time of grief? What message does that convey to you?
  • The word mourn (threneo) clearly refers to grief at a death (cf. threnos, “dirge”). Weeping need not refer to grief at a death, but in John it is only used in such a context (11:31, 33; 20:11, 13, 15). Thus, Jesus is referring to the grief they suffer at his death.
  • How do the disciples experience new life after suffering/grieving?

23In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

  • What is different about “in that day you will no longer ask me anything,” compared to “my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name?”
  • 2 diff’t Greek words are used
  • Ask questions – erotao
  • Petition – aiteo
  • “I tell you the truth” or “Amen, Amen” separates the two “asking” concepts. Draws distinction between the two ideas and two types of asking.
  • Indicates a change in relationship, too – the things they want to know about will become clear.
  • How is the communication between the Father and Christians depicted? (hint: ask & receive)
  • What does that communication tell us? Listen!

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. 26In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”


  • Who is the subject of Jesus’ teachings? Is this consistent with all of Jesus’ teachings?
  • What does “tell you plainly” mean? NOTE: Possibly referring to the time between the resurrection and ascensio
  • What do verses 26 and 27 say about our relationship with the Father? Jesus reveals the Father’s love for us and our direct access to God. Jesus also revealed the character and heart of the Father is as well.<!–[



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