IT IS EXPEDIENT
John 16:1 ¶ These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. 2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. 3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. 4 But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you. 5 But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? 6 But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.
John 16:7 ¶ 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. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. 12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
The Greek word, here translated “expedient,” is translated in Matthew 5:29, 30 as “it is profitable.” But what reasons did the Lord give to assure his disciples that it was profitable for them for his absence?
In verse four of our text he tells them “these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.” So his bodily presence was a hinderance to their spiritual instruction. He also stated in verse 12, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.”
Then the second thing which he informed them of is a most important and necessary matter, which most of christendom in our present day does not know and cannot understand. It is listed in verses 13 and 14 of our text. For it would take the Person of the Holy Spirit to be the guide into all truth which cannot be received except the Lord Jesus is glorified! 1 Corinthians 4:20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.
That is, the advancement of the spiritual kingdom of God cannot be accomplished by “talk,” not just by expressed logical reasonings, no matter how religious. It is exclusively advanced into the hearts of man by the revelation and power of the Holy Spirit! For God’s spiritual truth is not made known by education, but by revelation. Zechariah 4:6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. Job expressed it thus: Job 42:5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.
And just to kick around the idea that Jesus was a man on earth come from heaven, as a true fact, has no power at all, for it does not present him in his exalted, glorious character! John 12:16 These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.
Consider also these verses: John 2:11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him. 22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said. John 7:39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
Consider these words in the prayer of the Incarnate Son to the Father just prior to the crucifixion. John 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. 13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
While he was with the believers in the world, his faithfulness to them was to keep them for the Father. But when he was to go away, they would then realize, not just happiness, but the very spiritual joy that he felt, due to the indwelling Holy Spirit’s work of revelation. Peter expressed it as an unspeakable joy, that was full of glory! 1 Peter 1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
And take careful note that he speaks of this joy being revealed regarding the unseen Saviour, that although they haven’t seen him they love him. And therein lay the glorious joy that must be experienced in order to be known.
But let us read of the result of his being physical present to those ‘familiar’ with him. They could not regard him as the Son of God, but only as the son of Joseph, as the carpenter’s son. This hindered them from receiving his “mighty works.” Matthew 13:54 And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? 55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? 56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? 57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. 58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
And this exact same thing is still occurring in our world today. For those who stand in the pulpits and “preach” at funerals still read John 14:1-3 and present the Lord Jesus as Joseph the carpenters son, gone into heaven to build us a mansion! When the passage really speaks of him as God’s Son going to the cross to prepare us a place of redemption with the Father!
The disciples of John the Baptist took note that the Lord’s disciples realized a far more relaxed attitude towards life than they did. Here is what the Lord told them regarding his presence with them. Matthew 9:14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not? 15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast. 16 No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. 17 Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.
The life of faith and fasting would begin when he, the bridegroom, was taken away. For the new wine of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;), could not be ‘poured into’ those old, unregenerate souls, who were yet to receive the new birth! They must first be made new creations in Christ! 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
And in the time of the resurrection of Lazarus we were given a glimpse of the absence of the humanity of Jesus in order for the glory of the Christ to be made manifest.
John 11:1 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) 3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. 4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. 5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. 6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. 15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.
The resurrection is not just an event, it is a Person! John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: But in order to see the glory of that Person of the Resurrection requires the death of all inordinate loves! – The sisters actually had to experience their brother’s death. The sisters had to experience the mortification of their inordinate affections for their brother, and the withholding of Jesus’ physical presence in order to see the glory of God. John 11:40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
And this is but a pattern for true belief in our own day. Matthew 10:35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. Yet this generation will hold its “family reunions” on the Lord’s Day, having no problem in walking away from Christ to honor family above him. Does this mean that these who give greater love to family, are unworthy of Christ and are on the broad way? Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
And as the glory of Christ was revealed in the raising of Lazarus, many came to believe on him! John 11:45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. For the Holy Spirit is required to present the Person of the Living Word to the heart for the sinner’s belief. 2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
Our Lord instructs us of the Holy Spirit’s guidance in verse thirteen of our John sixteen text. And this he had also spoken of through the Prophet Isaiah many centuries before. Isaiah 30:21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. Many believers down through the years have been without bibles. For to possess one’s own bible in the early centuries, after Pentecost was not possible for the masses. But none have been without the Holy Spirit! And there will be no Bibles in heaven! For what need will there be of the printed word, when the very presence of the Living Word shall be gloriously manifest?
The scriptures clearly inform us that Isaiah did not ‘speak’ until he was prompted by seeing the glory! John 12:41 These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.
Then the Apostle Peter says that this is exactly what occurred to himself and the other apostles in the bringing forth of the word. 2 Peter 1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
2 Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
The Lord Jesus presented to a group of those listening to him the concept of his going away regarding their belief of his “hard sayings.” He made us all to know that his going away was not just possible, but expedient for the conveyance of spiritual truth to the hearts and minds of mankind. For this can only be accomplished by the Holy Spirit. John 6:60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? 61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? 62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
But those who have not the Holy Spirit, will eventually separate themselves from those walking by faith in the Spirit! Jude 19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
Pastor Gene Breed
July 02, 2021