John 16-18 The Message Bible

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16 1  "I've told you these things to prepare you for rough times ahead. 2  They are going to throw you out of the meeting places. There will even come a time when anyone who kills you will think he's doing God a favor. 3  They will do these things because they never really understood the Father. 4  I've told you these things so that when the time comes and they start in on you, you'll be well-warned and ready for them.

The Work of the Holy Spirit

5  But now I am on my way to the One who sent me. Not one of you has asked, 'Where are you going?' 6  Instead, the longer I've talked, the sadder you've become.

7  So let me say it again, this truth: It's better for you that I leave. If I don't leave, the Friend won't come. But if I go, I'll send him to you. 8  "When he comes, he'll expose the error of the godless world's view of sin, righteousness, and judgment: 9  He'll show them that their refusal to believe in me is their basic sin; 10  that righteousness comes from above, where I am with the Father, out of their sight and control; 11  that judgment takes place as the ruler of this godless world is brought to trial and convicted. 12  "I still have many things to tell you, but you can't handle them now. 13  But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. He won't draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen and, indeed, out of all that I have done and said. 14  He will honor me; he will take from me and deliver it to you. 15  Everything the Father has is also mine. That is why I've said, 'He takes from me and delivers to you.'

Sorrow to Turn into Joy

16  "In a day or so you're not going to see me, but then in another day or so you will see me." 17  That stirred up a hornet's nest of questions among the disciples: "What's he talking about: 'In a day or so you're not going to see me, but then in another day or so you will see me'? And, 'Because I'm on my way to the Father'? 18  What is this 'day or so'? We don't know what he's talking about." 19  Jesus knew they were dying to ask him what he meant, so he said, "Are you trying to figure out among yourselves what I meant when I said, 'In a day or so you're not going to see me, but then in another day or so you will see me'? 20  Then fix this firmly in your minds: You're going to be in deep mourning while the godless world throws a party. You'll be sad, very sad, but your sadness will develop into gladness. 21  "When a woman gives birth, she has a hard time, there's no getting around it. But when the baby is born, there is joy in the birth. This new life in the world wipes out memory of the pain. 22  The sadness you have right now is similar to that pain, but the coming joy is also similar. When I see you again, you'll be full of joy, and it will be a joy no one can rob from you.

23  You'll no longer be so full of questions. 24  Ask in my name, according to my will, and he'll most certainly give it to you. Your joy will be a river overflowing its banks!

I Have Overcome the World

25  "I've used figures of speech in telling you these things. Soon I'll drop the figures and tell you about the Father in plain language. 26  Then you can make your requests directly to him in relation to this life I've revealed to you. I won't continue making requests of the Father on your behalf. 27  I won't need to. Because you've gone out on a limb, committed yourselves to love and trust in me, believing I came directly from the Father, the Father loves you directly.

28  First, I left the Father and arrived in the world; now I leave the world and travel to the Father." 29  His disciples said, "Finally! You're giving it to us straight, in plain talk - no more figures of speech. 30  Now we know that you know everything - it all comes together in you. You won't have to put up with our questions anymore. We're convinced you came from God." 31  Jesus answered them, "Do you finally believe? 32  In fact, you're about to make a run for it - saving your own skins and abandoning me. But I'm not abandoned. The Father is with me. 33  I've told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I've conquered the world."

Jesus' Prayer for His Disciples

17 1  Jesus said these things. Then, raising his eyes in prayer, he said: Father, it's time. Display the bright splendor of your Son So the Son in turn may show your bright splendor. 2  You put him in charge of everything human So he might give real and eternal life to all in his charge. 3  And this is the real and eternal life: That they know you, The one and only true God, And Jesus Christ, whom you sent. 4  I glorified you on earth By completing down to the last detail What you assigned me to do. 5  And now, Father, glorify me with your very own splendor, The very splendor I had in your presence Before there was a world.

6  I spelled out your character in detail To the men and women you gave me. They were yours in the first place; Then you gave them to me, And they have now done what you said. 7  They know now, beyond the shadow of a doubt, That everything you gave me is firsthand from you, 8  For the message you gave me, I gave them; And they took it, and were convinced That I came from you. They believed that you sent me. 9  I pray for them. I'm not praying for the God-rejecting world But for those you gave me, For they are yours by right. 10  Everything mine is yours, and yours mine, And my life is on display in them.

11  For I'm no longer going to be visible in the world; They'll continue in the world While I return to you. Holy Father, guard them as they pursue this life That you conferred as a gift through me, So they can be one heart and mind 12  As we are one heart and mind. As long as I was with them, I guarded them In the pursuit of the life you gave through me; I even posted a night watch. And not one of them got away, Except for the rebel bent on destruction (the exception that proved the rule of Scripture). 13  Now I'm returning to you. I'm saying these things in the world's hearing So my people can experience My joy completed in them. 14  I gave them your word; The godless world hated them because of it, Because they didn't join the world's ways, 15  Just as I didn't join the world's ways. I'm not asking that you take them out of the world But that you guard them from the Evil One. 16  They are no more defined by the world Than I am defined by the world.

17  Make them holy - consecrated - with the truth; Your word is consecrating truth. 18  In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world. 19  I'm consecrating myself for their sakes So they'll be truth-consecrated in their mission.

20  I'm praying not only for them But also for those who will believe in me Because of them and their witness about me. 21  The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind - Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you, So they might be one heart and mind with us. Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me. 22  The same glory you gave me, I gave them, So they'll be as unified and together as we are - 23  I in them and you in me. Then they'll be mature in this oneness, And give the godless world evidence That you've sent me and loved them In the same way you've loved me.

24  Father, I want those you gave me To be with me, right where I am, So they can see my glory, the splendor you gave me, Having loved me Long before there ever was a world. 25  Righteous Father, the world has never known you, But I have known you, and these disciples know That you sent me on this mission. 26  I have made your very being known to them - Who you are and what you do - And continue to make it known, So that your love for me Might be in them Exactly as I am in them.

The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

18 1  Jesus, having prayed this prayer, left with his disciples and crossed over the brook Kidron at a place where there was a garden. He and his disciples entered it. 2  Judas, his betrayer, knew the place because Jesus and his disciples went there often. 3  So Judas led the way to the garden, and the Roman soldiers and police sent by the high priests and Pharisees followed. They arrived there with lanterns and torches and swords. 4  Jesus, knowing by now everything that was coming down on him, went out and met them. He said, "Who are you after?" They answered, "Jesus the Nazarene." 5  He said, "That's me." The soldiers recoiled, totally taken aback. Judas, his betrayer, stood out like a sore thumb. 6   7  Jesus asked again, "Who are you after?" They answered, "Jesus the Nazarene." 8  "I told you," said Jesus, "that's me. I'm the one. So if it's me you're after, let these others go." 9  (This validated the words in his prayer, "I didn't lose one of those you gave.") 10  Just then Simon Peter, who was carrying a sword, pulled it from its sheath and struck the Chief Priest's servant, cutting off his right ear. Malchus was the servant's name. 11  Jesus ordered Peter, "Put back your sword. Do you think for a minute I'm not going to drink this cup the Father gave me?"

Jesus Brought before the High Priest

12  Then the Roman soldiers under their commander, joined by the Jewish police, seized Jesus and tied him up.

13  They took him first to Annas, father-in-law of Caiaphas. Caiaphas was the Chief Priest that year. 14  It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it was to their advantage that one man die for the people.

Peter in the High Priest's Court

15  Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. That other disciple was known to the Chief Priest, and so he went in with Jesus to the Chief Priest's courtyard. 16  Peter had to stay outside. Then the other disciple went out, spoke to the doorkeeper, and got Peter in. 17  The young woman who was the doorkeeper said to Peter, "Aren't you one of this man's disciples?" He said, "No, I'm not." 18  The servants and police had made a fire because of the cold and were huddled there warming themselves. Peter stood with them, trying to get warm.

The High Priest Questions Jesus

19  Annas interrogated Jesus regarding his disciples and his teaching. 20  Jesus answered, "I've spoken openly in public. I've taught regularly in meeting places and the Temple, where the Jews all come together. Everything has been out in the open. I've said nothing in secret. 21  So why are you treating me like a conspirator? Question those who have been listening to me. They know well what I have said. My teachings have all been aboveboard." 22  When he said this, one of the policemen standing there slapped Jesus across the face, saying, "How dare you speak to the Chief Priest like that!" 23  Jesus replied, "If I've said something wrong, prove it. But if I've spoken the plain truth, why this slapping around?" 24  Then Annas sent him, still tied up, to the Chief Priest Caiaphas.

Peter Denies Jesus

25  Meanwhile, Simon Peter was back at the fire, still trying to get warm. The others there said to him, "Aren't you one of his disciples?" He denied it, "Not me." 26  One of the Chief Priest's servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, said, "Didn't I see you in the garden with him?" 27  Again, Peter denied it. Just then a rooster crowed.

Jesus before Pilate

28  They led Jesus then from Caiaphas to the Roman governor's palace. It was early morning. They themselves didn't enter the palace because they didn't want to be disqualified from eating the Passover. 29  So Pilate came out to them and spoke. "What charge do you bring against this man?" 30  They said, "If he hadn't been doing something evil, do you think we'd be here bothering you?" 31  Pilate said, "You take him. Judge him by your law." 32  (This would confirm Jesus' word indicating the way he would die.) 33  Pilate went back into the palace and called for Jesus. He said, "Are you the 'King of the Jews'?" 34  Jesus answered, "Are you saying this on your own, or did others tell you this about me?" 35  Pilate said, "Do I look like a Jew? Your people and your high priests turned you over to me. What did you do?" 36  "My kingdom," said Jesus, "doesn't consist of what you see around you. If it did, my followers would fight so that I wouldn't be handed over to the Jews. But I'm not that kind of king, not the world's kind of king." 37  Then Pilate said, "So, are you a king or not?" Jesus answered, "You tell me. Because I am King, I was born and entered the world so that I could witness to the truth. Everyone who cares for truth, who has any feeling for the truth, recognizes my voice." 38  Pilate said, "What is truth?" Then he went back out to the Jews and told them, "I find nothing wrong in this man."

Jesus Sentenced to Die

39  It's your custom that I pardon one prisoner at Passover. Do you want me to pardon the 'King of the Jews'?" 40  They shouted back, "Not this one, but Barabbas!" Barabbas was a Jewish freedom fighter.

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