John 16:21-25
John 16:21 (KJB)
A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.
Jesus likens the coming situation to a woman about ready to give birth. She will experience much pain in delivery but when that pain is over, it all seems so minuscule compared to the fact that she brought a life into this world. (Heb 12:2 KJV) Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Jesus is saying the same thing that even though He is going to suffer tremendous bodily pain and death, it will be minor in comparison to the fact that His death will bring about the salvation of millions of people. Jesus looked beyond the pain and shame of the cross to the eternal joy that would be awaiting all the true believers. In our present life when we give our lives to the sending forth of the Gospel, we may not have time to experience all the amenities this world has to offer and will miss out on much but when we look beyond this life and know the joy which will be set before us, it will be worth it all. This world has many beautiful things to offer but it cannot hold a candle to what awaits the believer in Heaven.
John 16:22 (KJB)
And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.
Here Jesus tells them that they will have sorrow at present because humanly speaking what was about to happen was a travesty of justice. Jesus once again encourages them with the fact, that when He sees them again they will have joy and because joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, no man will be able to take that joy. Another reason they will have joy is because the world will believe they got rid of Jesus but the disciples will know that He is alive and well. The world will go on in its darkness but the true believers will walk in the light and that light, like joy, can never be taken from them. (John 16:33 KJV) These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. This world will give the believer all the tribulation they will ever face for eternity.
John 16:23 (KJB)
And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
When the Lord Jesus Christ will once again appear to them after His resurrection, many of their questions will be answered and their perplexities gone. It seems that the day in view in this verse is the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit will indwell all the disciples in the upper room where they congregated. They would no longer be asking the Lord Jesus Christ questions because He will be in Heaven but the Holy Spirit will start to guide them in every aspect of their lives, from daily living to areas of evangelism. It will be through the Holy Spirit that the prayers and requests of all true believers will be carried and interpreted to the Father. If what we request is in keeping with the will of God, then we will receive those things we ask for, but if the requests are not in keeping with the will of God, we will be denied. This is why prayer must never be used to try and get the things that we want for reasons other than what is in line with the will of God.
John 16:24 (KJB)
Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
Up to this point, the disciples had not asked the Father for anything because Jesus was still among them and whatever they needed to know or whatever needs they had, they went to Jesus. In 42 days, Jesus will be going back to Heaven and those who are saved are in the name of Jesus, that is, they are called Christians because they are saved through, and are in Christ. So those who are truly saved are in Christ for eternity and are in Christís name because they belong to Christ. When we pray in the name of Jesus, it is not just a religious appendage but it means that only those who are saved, in Christ, are truly the only ones who can legitimately claim Christís name. The joy of the believer is to be in the will of God and to be serving Him, so when we pray and ask for something to help us do ministry better and we receive what we ask for, our joy is increased because we not only received the request but it is Godís approbation on our ministry and that brings joy.
John 16:25 (KJB)
These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall show you plainly of the Father.
Proverbs - An obscure or symbolic saying, figure of speech, parable
The majority of the teachings of Jesus were done in parables because the disciples were not spiritually attuned to the teachings of Jesus because the Holy Spirit had not been given yet. The parables were also designed to keep the truths that Jesus was teaching to the multitudes shrouded because only those who are in the Kingdom, or born again, are privy to those truths. (Mat 13:10-11 KJV) And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? {11} He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. God does not reveal His truths to the unbeliever because they are spiritually discerned and one must be born again and have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them to be able to understand the parabolic teachings. In our verse, Jesus is telling the disciples that the time will come when they will no longer be taught in parables but will come to have knowledge of the Father plainly and the Holy Spirit will indwell them and guide their understanding.