According to the Scriptures

1Corinthians 15:1-4 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also you have received, and wherein you stand; By which also you are saved, if you keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless you have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures… 

‘The gospel which I preached unto you, which also you have received, and wherein you stand.’ Man’s five-fold responsibility to the gospel: It must be studied, as preached by the apostles through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (15:1; Mark 16:15). It must be received (15:1; John 1:12). It must be obeyed (15:1; Rom. 1:5; 6:17). It must be kept in memory – held fast (15:2; Heb. 3:6; 10:23; 12:14). It must be believed from the heart that will lead to obedience to every command and a life conformed to Christ’s image (15:2; Rom. 1:16; 10:9-10; John 3:16-20; 1Pet. 2:21-23).

‘By which also you are saved’ – Four main parts to the gospel of salvation: Death of Christ (15:3; 4:14-21; Rom. 5:6-10; Col. 1:20; Heb. 9:15); burial of Christ (15:4; Matt. 26:12; John 12:7; Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12); resurrection of Christ (15:4, 12; Rom. 14:9; 2Cor. 5:15; 1Thess. 4:14); manifestation of Christ after the resurrection (15:5-8).

‘Keep in memory’ [Greek: katecho] holdfast.

‘What I preached unto you.’ What Paul preached – by the unction of the Holy Spirit – included in the four main parts to the gospel of salvation.

‘Believed in vain’ – It is possible to believe in vain or to no purpose (Luke 8:13; Jas. 2:19).

‘According to the scriptures’ – referring here to how that Christ died for our sins as quoted in Psalm 16:10; 22:1; Isaiah 52:14; and 53:1-12.

‘According to the scriptures’ referring here His burial and resurrection on the third day as quoted in Psalm 16:10; Isaiah 53:12; Jonah 1:17; Matthew 12:40 and Luke 11:29.

Been Much Hindered

Romans 15:22-24, 29 For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you. But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you; Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company. … When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain. And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ. 

‘For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you.’ Because of his policy to preach the gospel where it has not been preached, he has been hindered for a long time to go where the gospel has already been preached (15:20, 22).

‘No more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you.’ Having evangelized all these parts and having a desire for many years to see them, Paul planned to go to them when he took his journey into Spain (15:23-24).

‘Spain’ there is no record in Scripture or history that Paul ever fulfilled this proposed journey into Spain. It is on record that he went back to Jerusalem and was taken to Rome as a prisoner (Acts 21:1-28:31).

‘For I trust to see you in my journey’ – He trusted to see the Christians in Spain and be blessed with their company as he goes to Spain.

‘And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.’ Here we have Paul’s confidence stated that when he visited them, he would come to them with all the gifts and graces of the Spirit of God and of the gospel of Christ. This confirms the fact that one man may be filled with all the fullness of God and have all the gifts and fruit of the Spirit of 1Corinthians 12:4-11; Galatians 5:22-23. He had already told them that he planned to impart to them some spiritual gift to the end that they would be established (1:11).

The Gospel of Peace

Romans 10:14-17 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias said, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 

‘How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? … Lord, who hath believed our report?’ Seven steps in gospel faith:

The gospel was given by Christ; the gospel must be preached; a preacher was necessary (10:14); the preacher must be sent (10:15); the gospel must be heard (10:14-15); the gospel must be believed (10:16); the gospel must be obeyed (10:9-17).

‘How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things’ this is the 8th Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in Romans (10:15; Isa. 52:7). This prophecy is only partially fulfilled in New Testament ministers. They cannot now say of Zion, “Thy God reigns.” In the Millennium they will say this, so the passage will then be fully fulfilled.

‘Lord, who has believed our report?’ this is the 9th Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in Romans (10:16; Isa. 53:1). Paul here answers a question in the Jewish mind thus: “But they have not all obeyed the gospel;” that is if the gospel was of God, it should have divine success, and so, since many do not believe it, then it must not be of God. Paul proves by prophecy that many would not believe and obey the gospel (Isa. 53:1). God sends the message, but He does not obligate people to accept and obey it (1:16; Mark 16:16; John 3:16-20).

‘Have they not heard? … Did not Israel know?’ In this verse Paul answers another Jewish question, “Have they not heard;” that is, have all the Jews of the world heard the gospel? Yes, for like the heavenly bodies of Psalm 19:4 that send forth their testimony of a living God to all the world, so the gospel of Christ has borne testimony to all the Jews of the known world.

The Gospel of God

Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God

‘Paul’ we can see his history written in Acts 7:58; 8:1-3; 9:1-30; 11:25-30; 12:25; 13:1-28:31; Galatians 1:1-24; Philippians 3:1-21; 1Timothy 1:1-20 and 2Corinthians 11-12. His name heads up all of his epistles (except Hebrews). ‘Servant’ [Greek: doulos] bond-slave; one who is the entire property of another (1Cor. 6:19-20; 2Cor. 4:5).

‘Called’ [Greek: kletos] called. Here, called to an office and divinely selected and appointed to fill it (Rom. 1:1; 1Cor. 1:1; Gal. 1:15). Believers can’t claim that they have the same calling as Paul (and the other apostles) had, because they were called to preach what they learnt (Gal. 1:17-18) from Jesus Christ as they wrote to the believers from various congregations.

‘Apostle’ [Greek: apostolos] a delegate, one sent with the full power of attorney to act in the place of another, the sender remaining behind to back up the one sent. In the case of Christians it means God sends them to do what He, Himself would do if He went. Twenty-four apostles are recorded of which the first twelve were Jesus’ disciples: Simon Peter and his brother Andrew, James, son of Zebedee and John his brother (Matt. 10:2); Philip and his brother Bartholomew (Matt. 10:3); James, son of Alphaeus and Judas his brother (Luke 6:16) and Matthew, son of Alphaeus, perhaps brother of James and Judas (Mark 2:14; Luke 6:15); Thomas (Matt. 10:3); Simon Zelotes, brother of James and Judas, according to tradition (Luke 6:15); Judas Iscariot (Matt. 10:4). Then there was Matthias (Acts 1:26); Barnabas (1Cor. 9:5-6; Acts. 13:1-3; 14:4, 14; Gal. 2:9); Andronicus and Junia (Rom. 16:7); Apollos (1Cor. 4:6-9); James, the Lord’s brother (Gal. 1:19; 2:6; Jas. 1:1); Silas and Timothy (1Thess. 1:1; 2:6); Titus (2Cor. 8:23);  Epaphroditus (Php. 2:25); Paul (Gal. 1:1; 2:8), and Jesus Christ (Heb. 3:1)

‘Separated’ [Greek: aphorizo] set apart. Three stages of Paul’s separation: At birth, in God’s mind (Gal. 1:15); at conversion, from Judaism to the gospel (Acts 9:15-16; 1Tim. 1:15-16); at his commission, from secular work to the work of God (Acts 13:2; 26:16-18; 1Tim. 1:11-12)

‘The gospel of God’ the gospel of God (Acts 1:1-5) can be summarized as follows: The gospel defined (Acts 10:15); fulfilment of the promises (Acts 1:2); a revelation (Gal. 1:11-12, 16); historical and prophetic facts of the gospel (Luke 24:44; 1Cor. 15:1-23); a manifestation of: (1) God’s creation (Acts 1:20; Eph. 3:9), (2) Man’s rebellion (Acts 1:21-3:23), (3) God’s love, mercy, and grace (John 1:17; 3:16; Tit. 2:11-12; 3:5), God’s wrath (Rom. 1:18-32),  (5) God’s salvation (Rom. 1:16; 3:24-31; John 3:16; 1Jn. 1:9), (6) God’s plan (Acts 3:19-21; Rom. 8:19-25; Eph. 1:10; Rev. 21-22), (7) Man’s destiny: rebels (Matt. 25:41, 46; Rev. 14:9-11; 20:10-15); the saved (John 14:1-3; Rev. 5:10; 21:1-22:5); confirmation of the gospel (Mark 16:15-20; Rom. 15:18-29; Heb. 2:1-4); ordinances of the gospel: (1) water baptism (Matt. 28:19) and (2) the Lord’s Supper (1Cor. 11:19-34).

Grace

1Peter 1:9-12 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. 

‘The end of your faith’ the Greek word telos meaning the end of a thing. It could also mean the consummation of being admitted or initiated into religion, marriage, etc. If this is what Peter has in mind it refers to believers being initiated into salvation by their faith (1:8-9). He could also have had in mind the end of salvation itself, which is at the end of a life of faith. 

‘Enquired’ [Greek: ekzeteo] to search out. They carefully and diligently sought and examined the truth of the things they were prophesying.

‘Grace that should come unto you’ they had salvation, grace, fillings, and gifts of the Spirit. It was the fullness of grace they predicted (John 1:16-17). Remember that the receiving of the fullness of grace is conditional.

God cannot give grace to men who disobey the gospel. If so, then God is under obligation to save all, even sinners who disobey if He saves even one (Rom. 2:11). God is under obligation to saints only when they walk in the light and remain true to the gospel (1John 1:7). He is not under obligation to sinners until they come to full obedience of the gospel. Grace teaches men to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and to live soberly, righteously, and godly here and now (Tit. 2:11-12). If people do not obey its teaching grace can go no further.

Anyone may: Receive grace in vain (2 Cor. 6:1); frustrate the grace of God in his life (Gal. 2:21); fall from it (Gal. 1:6-8; 5:4); fail of the grace of God (Heb. 12:15); turn it into lasciviousness (Jude 1:4); sin in spite of it (Rom. 6:1); continue or discontinue in it (Acts 13:43); minister it to others (1Pet. 4:10); grow or not grow in it (2Pet. 3:18); receive or reject it (John 3:16; Heb. 12:15; Jas. 4:6; Rev. 22:17).

‘Searching’ [Greek: ereunao] to search for; examine (1:11; John 5:39; 7:52; Rom. 8:27; 1Cor. 2:10; Rev. 2:23). They did not know the time of the sufferings of Christ or by whom, neither the glory to follow the sufferings.

‘Gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven’ it was the new covenant – that is the New Testament that was established with Christ’s crucifixion, (Heb. 9:15-18) and its full blessings that the prophets foretold. The fullness of grace (John 1:16-17), the fullness of the Holy Spirit anointing upon believers (Luke 24:49; John 7:37-39; Acts 1:4-8), the full gifts and fruit of the Spirit (1Cor. 12:4-11; Gal. 5:22-23), and the complete redemptive acts and processes of which the law was a shadow (Heb. 10:1) were all predicted by the prophets in the Old Testament. The way into the holiest by the blood of Christ (Heb. 10:19), power and authority of every believer to do the works of Christ (John 14:12), and many other truths and experiences were unknown to the prophets. ‘Desire to look into’ angels are no doubt amazed at the wonderful plan of redemption and of the eternal exaltation of the redeemed. Even now they are being taught by the body of Christ the manifold wisdom of God (Eph. 3:9-11). They observe saints constantly (1Cor. 4:9) and desire to look into the wonderful truths of the gospel.

Jesus Scourged

John 19:1-7 Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. Pilate therefore went forth again, and said unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that you may know that I find no fault in him. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate said unto them, Behold the man! When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate said unto them, Take you him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. 

‘Scourged him’ had Him scourged in the Roman manner which was more severe than the Jewish. It was customary to scourge a person before crucifixion, but Pilate hoped that this punishment would satisfy the Jews so he could release Jesus (Luke 23:16). This did not satisfy the bloodthirsty Jews who wanted Him dead and out of their way.

A scourge was a Roman implement for severe physical punishment. It consisted of a handle with about a dozen leather cords with jagged pieces of bone or metal at each end to make the blow more painful and effective. The victim was tied to a post and the blows were applied to the bareback and loins and sometimes to the face and bowels. The flesh was cut in several places by each blow. So hideous was the punishment that the victim often fainted and some died under it. Flogging was permitted by the law up to 40 stripes (Deut. 25:3). Jews reduced this to 39 stripes (2Cor. 11:23-25). If the scourge used on Jesus had 12 thongs and He was hit even 39 times this would make 468 stripes. If some struck in the same place and cut deeper each time one can see how His body, because of the intense hatred back of each blow, was marred more than any other man’s (Isa. 52:14).

‘Crown of thorns’ for cruelty and mockery, fulfilling His own prophecy spoken in Matthew 20:17-19 in which manner He shall be killed.

‘Hail’ or, Health, success, and prosperity to the King of the Jews!

‘I bring him forth to you’ Pilate made his third appearance from the Praetorium to the Jews outside and brought the scourged, bleeding, crowned, and kingly-clothed Christ of God before them, hoping they would be willing to let Him go after such suffering. But, as ever, religious persecutors have no love and mercy on their victims. They cried for crucifixion until Pilate wanted to turn Him over to them to crucify, declaring the innocence of Christ two more times (19:4, 6).

‘Behold the Man’ Pilate hoped against hope that this awful spectacle would melt their hearts, but it only whetted their appetite for more suffering to the man they considered their rival in religion and power.

‘Because he made himself the Son of God’ this new charge to Pilate was another of ten reasons for condemning Him to die. This new angle made Pilate all the more afraid, so he took Him into the judgment hall again to question Him (19:8-11).

Not of This World

John 18:33-40 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Are thou the King of the Jews? Jesus answered him, Say thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what have thou done? Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. Pilate therefore said unto him, Are thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou say that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth hears my voice. Pilate said unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and said unto them, I find in him no fault at all. But you have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will you therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews? Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber. 

‘Are thou the King of the Jews? … Say thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?’ This shows their accusation of treason. They did not charge Him with what were the chief reasons for wanting Him crucified.

There are ten reasons why the Jews killed Jesus: over His Kingship (Matt. 2:2-3, 16; John 18:33-40; 19:12-22); for telling the truth (Luke 4:21-29; John 8:40); for healing on the sabbath (Matt. 12:9-14; Mark 3:1-6; John 5:16; 9:16); out of jealousy of Him (Matt. 26:3-4; 27:18; Mark 14:1; 15:10; Luke 22:2; John 11:48); because of their ignorance (Matt. 26:64-66; Mark 14:62-64; John 12:40; Acts 3:17); to fulfill prophecy (Luke 13:33-35; John 12:38-40; 18:31-32; 19:11, 28, 36-37; Acts 2:22-36; 3:18); He claimed Sonship (5:18; 10:24-39; 19:7); because of their unbelief (5:38-47; 6:36; 9:40-41; 12:36-38); because He claimed to be God (8:53-59; 10:33; cp. 1:1-2; Heb. 1:5-14); out of fear of losing their authority (11:46-53; 12:10-11, 19).

‘Say thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?’ Jesus asked if His enemies told Pilate this or if he was suspicious of Him, that he asked the question?

‘Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what have thou done?’ Pilate answered that if Jesus didn’t profess to be the king of the Jews, what has He done that they desire His life?

‘Of’ the Greek word ek meaning out from. Christ’s kingdom is not from this world. His kingdom is from heaven. It will be an earthly kingdom when the Millennium begins (Dan. 2:44; 7:13-27; Zech. 14:1-21; Rev. 5:10; 11:15).

‘Thou say that I am’ – a common expression for “yes, it is so.” Jesus was born to be a king and He came into the world to bear witness of the truth. All who are of the truth hear and obey Him.

‘What is truth?’ Pilate was no doubt confused by all the religions and philosophies clamouring for recognition. He did not stay to get an answer and in this, he is like millions today who do not honestly seek to know the truth but follow every wind of doctrine that comes along. Christ is the truth and anyone who finds Him and obeys Him will know the truth (8:32-36; 14:6).

‘He went out again unto the Jews’ this is the second time Pilate left the judgment hall to reason with the Jews (18:28-29). This time he declared the innocence of Christ as treason.

‘Will you therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?’ Pilate thought surely they would wish the release of Jesus instead of a common criminal, but this only gave them further occasion to demand the death of Jesus (18:40).

‘The King of the Jews’ this insincere taunt of Pilate about their king only led them to retort by the threat of high treason against Pilate himself (19:12). ‘Robber’ the Jews chose a highway robber and a murderer instead of Messiah.

Jesus Questioned

John 18:19-24 The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine. Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. Why ask thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said. And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answer thou the high priest so? Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smite thou me? Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest. 

‘Asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine’ they questioned Him as to His authority of collecting disciples, forming a different sect, preaching new doctrines and setting Himself up as a reformer. Annas perhaps was seeking something whereby he could legally accuse Him, but he found nothing. All this was at night, which was contrary to the law of the Jews. The Talmud says, “Criminal processes can neither commence nor terminate, but during the course of the day” (Sanhedrin c, iv, s. 1). If a person was condemned the sentence could not be until the next day. No judgment could be executed either on the eve of the sabbath, or the eve of any festival. All these laws were broken in the trial of Christ which was in the night, on the eve of the passover, and the eve of the special sabbath of the feast – on Tuesday. It had been predicted that justice and judgment would be taken away during His trial (Isa. 53:8; Acts 8:33).

‘I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.’ Jesus has spoken openly to all people, in synagogues in the cities and even in the temple at Jerusalem, and has said nothing in secret. If they have not heard Him, they could have asked those who have. They and their spies have watched Him everywhere. Jesus has said nothing contrary to the law and the prophets [the name of the Old Testament]. He has not disturbed the state by rebellion. He asked that they would judge Him righteously according to their laws if He has done something wrong.

‘One of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand’ – this was an outrage against justice, for a prisoner before trial and condemnation were under special protection of the court. This is the fifth definite law of justice and judgment broken before the trial really got underway. They sought for witness against Jesus to put Him to death, this was contrary to their law which required them to begin a trial with those things that would acquit the accused, not with those things that made for his condemnation. In this case, not one thing was sought that would acquit Christ. They were determined to kill Him so they looked for every excuse possible, not realizing they were fulfilling prophecy. Not any two witnesses agreed on any one point of accusation, yet they condemned and killed the only sinless man that ever lived.

‘If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smite thou me?’ – a Christian is bound to bear injuries and injustices without revengeful retaliation; but he is privileged, even by the example of the Lord, to call to question such mistreatment. This does not break the law of Matthew 5:39.

‘Now Annas’ all of this happened in Annas’s presence. John omits the trial before Caiaphas (Matt. 26:57-68).

Peter’s Denial

John 18:12-18, 25-27 Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him, And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year. Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people. And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple: that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest. But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, which was known unto the high priest, and spoke unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter. Then said the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Are not thou also one of this man’s disciples? He said, I am not. And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals; for it was cold: and they warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself. And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him, Are not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not. One of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, said, Did not I see thee in the garden with him? Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew. 

‘Captain’ the Greek word chiliarchos – the commander of 1,000 men; one of 6 tribunes attached to a legion, showing the importance the Romans attached to the arrest of Jesus, the Jews have represented it as a dangerous case of sedition.

‘Annas’ – he was perhaps the head of the Sanhedrin. He had been appointed high priest several times and had five sons and a son-in-law who had held this office. ‘Same year’ the office was no longer for life, as originally. Now it was by appointment by civil rulers and not by God.

‘He, which gave counsel to the Jews’ – he had already passed sentence that Jesus should be killed (11:49-52), hence he was disqualified to be His judge. But Christ was not tried by rules of justice or He would not have been crucified.

‘That disciple’ perhaps John himself who always refers to himself in the third person (13:23; 19:26; 21:7, 20). Or it could have been Nicodemus or Joseph (19:38).

‘Damsel that kept the door’ tradition says her name was Ballila. Women were doorkeepers (Acts 12:13). ‘Are not thou also one of this man’s disciples? I am not.’ first of three lies (18:17, 18:25-26). In verse 27 the third lie and denial of Jesus are stated.

‘They’ the officers and servants of the high priest, the Roman Chiliarch and his soldiers had gone back to the barracks, leaving Jesus in the hands of the Jews.

‘Warmed himself’ – a dangerous thing to do – to warm one’s self by the fire of his enemies.

Twelve steps in Peter’s backsliding from Matthew: he boasted (Matt. 26:33; Pro. 16:18); he made Christ a liar (Matt. 26:33-35); he slept instead of praying (Matt. 26:40); he failed to mortify his flesh (Matt. 26:41); he relied on the arm of flesh (Matt. 26:51); he forsook Christ and fled (Matt. 26:56); he followed afar off (Matt. 26:58); he sat with the Lord’s enemies (Matt. 26:58); he gave up hope and became discouraged (Matt. 26:58); he became afraid of men (Matt. 26:69-74); he lied (Matt. 26:69-74); and he cursed (Matt. 26:69-74).  Jesus had predicted his backsliding and his re-conversion (Luke 22:31-34).

The Time Shall Come

John 16:1-7 These things have I spoken unto you, that you should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever kills you will think that he does God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, you may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you. But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you ask me, Whither goes thou? But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 

‘These things have I spoken unto you …’ The 38th New Testament prophecy in John fulfilled and is being fulfilled. ‘Offended’ the Greek word skandalizo which means to stumble, to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey.

‘Put you out of the synagogues’ that is to excommunicate you (John 9:22; 12:42) that whosoever kills you will think that he does God service.

Because they have not known the Father, nor Jesus: their ignorance of God and Christ is the foundation of all religious persecution and intolerance (John 15:21).

Jesus did not tell the disciples these things when He chose them, lest they should have been discouraged; but it was at this time necessary to tell them so they could be on guard when He left them.

‘Whither goes thou?’ This was asked twice before (John 13:36; 14:5), but now their hearts were too full of sorrow to ask again.

It was expedient for the disciples that Jesus went away: for if He did not go away, the Comforter [Holy Spirit] could not come unto them; but when Jesus departed, He did send Him unto them.

It was ‘expedient’ for them that He should go – the Greek word sumphero meaning profitable. It was necessary for Jesus to die and go away or the Spirit cannot come to save men and anoint them to propagate the gospel.

The Holy Spirit is the third person in the Divine Trinity (1Jn. 5:7; Matt. 28:19; 2Cor. 13:14). He has been sent by both the Father and the Son (John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7; Luke 24:49; Acts 2:33).