Lectio notes: John 16: 1-15



Chapter sixteen of St John's Gospel continues the great discourse after the Last Supper.

The text

The Latin, Greek and Knox translation can be found on the New Advent page.  You can listen to the Latin here and the Greek here.

Here is the Latin:

Hæc locutus sum vobis, ut non scandalizemini. 2 Absque synagogis facient vos: sed venit hora, ut omnis qui interficit vos arbitretur obsequium se præstare Deo. 3 Et hæc facient vobis, quia non noverunt Patrem, neque me. 4 Sed hæc locutus sum vobis, ut cum venerit hora eorum, reminiscamini quia ego dixi vobis. 5 Hæc autem vobis ab initio non dixi, quia vobiscum eram. Et nunc vado ad eum qui misit me; et nemo ex vobis interrogat me: Quo vadis? 6 sed quia hæc locutus sum vobis, tristitia implevit cor vestrum. 7 Sed ego veritatem dico vobis: expedit vobis ut ego vadam: si enim non abiero, Paraclitus non veniet ad vos; si autem abiero, mittam eum ad vos. 8 Et cum venerit ille, arguet mundum de peccato, et de justitia, et de judicio. 9 De peccato quidem, quia non crediderunt in me. 10 De justitia vero, quia ad Patrem vado, et jam non videbitis me. 11 De judicio autem, quia princeps hujus mundi jam judicatus est. 12 Adhuc multa habeo vobis dicere, sed non potestis portare modo. 13 Cum autem venerit ille Spiritus veritatis, docebit vos omnem veritatem: non enim loquetur a semetipso, sed quæcumque audiet loquetur, et quæ ventura sunt annuntiabit vobis. 14 Ille me clarificabit, quia de meo accipiet, et annuntiabit vobis. 15 Omnia quæcumque habet Pater, mea sunt. Propterea dixi: quia de meo accipiet, et annuntiabit vobis.

And the Douay-Rheims:

These things have I spoken to you, that you may not be scandalized. [2] They will put you out of the synagogues: yea, the hour cometh, that whosoever killeth you, will think that he doth a service to God. [3] And these things will they do to you; because they have not known the Father, nor me. [4] But these things I have told you, that when the hour shall come, you may remember that I told you of them. [5] But I told you not these things from the beginning, because I was with you. And now I go to him that sent me, and none of you asketh me: Whither goest thou? [6] But because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow hath filled your heart. [7] But I tell you the truth: it is expedient to you that I go: for if I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. [8] And when he is come, he will convince the world of sin, and of justice, and of judgment. [9] Of sin: because they believed not in me. [10] And of justice: because I go to the Father; and you shall see me no longer. [11] And of judgment: because the prince of this world is already judged. [12] I have yet many things to say to you: but you cannot bear them now. [13] But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will teach you all truth. For he shall not speak of himself; but what things soever he shall hear, he shall speak; and the things that are to come, he shall shew you. [14] He shall glorify me; because he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it to you. [15] All things whatsoever the Father hath, are mine. Therefore I said, that he shall receive of mine, and shew it to you.

Commentary

The opening verses of this chapter are intended to prepare us for persecution, as the anthology of commentaries in the Catena Aurea point out:

AUG. After the promise of the Holy Spirit, to inspire them with strength to give witness; He well adds, These things have I spoken to you, that you should not be offended. For when the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given to us (Romans 5:5), then great peace have they that love God's law, and they are not offended at it (Psalms 118). 

What they were about to suffer follows next: They shall put you out of the synagogues.

CHRYS. For the Jews had already agreed, if any confessed that He was Christ, that he should be put out of the synagogue. 

AUG. Bu what evil was it to the Apostles to be put out of the Jewish synagogues, which they would have gone out of, even if none had put them out? Our Lord wished to make known to them, that the Jews were about not to receive Him, while they on the other hand were not going to desert Him. There was no other people of God beside the seed of Abraham; if they acknowledged Christ, the Churches of Christ would be none other than the synagogues of the Jews. But inasmuch as they refused to acknowledge Him, nothing remained but that they should put out of the synagogue those who would not forsake Christ. 

He adds: But the time comes that whoever kills you will think that he does God service. Is this intended for a consolation, as if they would so take to heart their expulsion from the synagogues, that death would be a positive relief to them after it? God forbid that they who sought God's glory, not men's, should be so disturbed. The meaning of the words is this: They shall put you out of the synagogue, but do not be afraid of being left alone. Separated from their assemblies, you shall assemble so many in my name, that they, fearing that the temple and rites of the old law will be deserted, will kill you and think to do God service thereby, having a zeal for God but not according to knowledge. 

These who kill are the same with those who put out of the synagogues, viz. the Jews. For Gentiles would not have thought that they were doing God service, by killing Christ's witnesses, but their own false gods; whereas every one of the Jews, who killed the preacher of Christ, thought he was doing God service, believing that whoever was converted to Christ, deserted the God of Israel. 

CHRYS. Then He consoles them: And all these things will they do to you, because they have not known the Father nor Me. As if He said, Let this consolation content you. 

Preparation is important:

AUG. And He mentions these things beforehand, because trials, however soon to pass away, when they come upon men unprepared for them, are very overwhelming: But these things have I told you, that when the hour shall come, you may remember that 1 told you of them: the hour, the hour of darkness, the hour of night. But the night of the Jews was not allowed to mix with or darken the day of the Christians. 

CHRYS. And He predicted these trials for another reason, viz. that they might not say that He had not foreseen them; That you may remember that I told you of them, or that He had only spoken to please them, and given false hopes. And the reason is added why He did not reveal these things sooner: And these things I said not to you at the beginning, because I was with you; because, that is, you were in My keeping, and might ask when you pleased, and the whole battle rested upon Me. There was no need then to tell you these things at the first, though I myself knew them. 

The next phase of the mission is the conversion of the world:

AUG. But how is it that Christ did not reprove the world? Is it because Christ spoke among the Jews only, whereas the Holy Spirit, poured into His disciples throughout the whole world, reproved not one nation only, but the world? But who would dare to say that the Holy Ghost reproved the world by Christ's disciples, and that Christ did not when the Apostle exclaims, Do you seek a proof of Christ speaking in Me? (2 Cor 13:3) Those then whom the Holy Ghost reproves, Christ reproves also. He shall reprove the world, means, He shall pour love into your hearts, insomuch, that fear being cast out, you shall be free to reprove. 

He then explains what He has said: Of sin, because they believed not in Me. He mentions this as the sin above all others, because while it remains, the others are retained; when it departs, the others are remitted. 

AUG. But it makes a great difference whether one believes in Christ, or only that He is Christ. For that He was Christ, even the devils believed; but he believes in Christ who both hopes in Christ and loves Christ. 

AUG. The world is reproved of sin, because it believes not in Christ, and reproved of righteousness, the righteousness of those that believe. The very contrast of the believing, is the censure of the unbelieving. 

Of righteousness because I go to the Father: as it is the common objection of unbelievers, How can we believe what we do not see? So the righteousness of believers lies in this: Because I go to the Father, and you see Me no more. For blessed are they which see not, and believe. The faith even of those who saw Christ is praised, not because they believed what they saw, i.e., the Son of man, but because they believed what they saw not, i.e., the Son of God. And when the form of the servant was withdrawn from their sight altogether, then only was fulfilled in completeness the text, The just live by faith (Heb 10:38). It will be your righteousness then, of which the world will be reproved, that you shall believe in Me, not seeing Me. And when you shall see Me, you shall see Me as I shall be, not as I am now with you, i.e., you shall not see Me mortal, but everlasting. For in saying, you see Me no more, He means that they should see Him no more forever. 

AUG. Or thus: They believed not, He went to the Father. Theirs therefore was the sin, His the righteousness. But that He came from the Father to us was mercy; that He went to the Father was righteousness; according to the saying of the Apostle, Wherefore God also has highly exalted Him (Phil 2:9). But if He went to the Father alone, what profit is it to us? Is He not alone rather in the sense of being one with all His members, as the head is with the body? So then the world is reproved of sin, in those who believe not in Christ; and of righteousness, in those who rise again in the members of Christ. 

It follows, Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged--i.e., the devil, the prince of the wicked--who in heart dwell only in this world which they love. He is judged in that he is cast out; and the world is reproved of this judgment; for it is vain for one who does not believe in Christ to complain of the devil, whom judged, i.e., cast out, and permitted to attack us from without, only for our trial, not men only but women, boys and girls, have by martyrdom overcome. 

AUG. Or, judged, i.e., is destined irrevocably for the punishment of eternal fire. And of this judgment is the world reproved, in that it is judged with its prince, the proud and ungodly one whom it imitates. Let men therefore believe in Christ, lest they be reproved of the sin of unbelief, by which all sins are retained; pass over to the number of the believing, lest they be reproved of the righteousness of those whom justified they do not imitate; beware of the judgment to come, lest with the prince of this world whom they imitate, they too be judged. 

No comments: