Read verses 1-4
Q: What is the repeated phrase used in this opening paragraph which shows that Jesus is summarizing all of this night’s teaching to this point?
A: “These things”. (v.1, 3, twice in 4)
Q: The source of three of “these things” are Jesus and one is a worldly source. How does the text show a clear difference between them?
A: The one worldly source is devoted to something they will do, but all three instances attributed to Christ are things He has spoken. Where Christ is concerned, it is always about how obedience to His Word will overcome anything the world throws at us.
Q: What is the first reason Jesus offers for telling us “these things”?
A: “…so that you may be kept from stumbling”. (v.1) The first and foremost intention is to strengthen our faith.
Q: How is the source of the second use of “these things” different from all the rest? What does it describe?
A: It is the only instance where Christ is not the source, but rather it is speaking of coming persecution.
Q: Who is the “they” which Jesus says will be the source of this persecution?
A: The references to being cast out of the synagogues by those who think they are performing a service to God indicates that this is going to come from those claiming a right relationship with God.
Q: What is the truth about such people from whom this persecution will come?
A: “…they have not known the Father or Me”. (v.3)
Point: Persecution at the hand of the unbelieving world is to always be expected, but when it comes from within the Church we have to remember the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares, that not everyone claiming to belong to the Kingdom of God is authentically saved and following Christ. They will most often use the terms and language of Christianity in the course of their persecution.
Q: Is this the first time Jesus ever spoke of persecution?
A: Jesus spoke of persecution for His namesake such as in Matthew 5:10-12, but here he is narrowing things down to an additional aspect where the source is not exclusively outright non-believers, but particularly from religious people.
Q: What is the third reason for Jesus telling us “these things?”
A: Not just we will not be surprised when they happen, but we will recall what was already spoken about them in the Word. We will know how to act when we “remember that I told you of them”. (v.4)
Q: How is the fourth reason different from all the rest? What is the purpose for that?
A: The others are things He said, but this is explaining why “these things” are only being explained now. This is because “I was with you”, an explanation that while with them He was their protection. However, He is about to go away, and is going to explain how they will be protected in His physical absence.
Application: Nothing the world does can overcome a believer who puts God’s Word and ways into practice.