This past week I attended a conference in New Orleans (or as the natives call it “Naw-lins”). Yesterday afternoon, my return flight out of New Orleans was delayed. By the time we finally took off for Dallas/ Fort Worth we were over an hour behind schedule. I was pretty confident I wasn’t going to make my connecting flight from Dallas/Fort Worth to Seattle. We touched down in Dallas/ Fort Worth at 4:15. By the time I finally got off the plane it was 4:30—the exact time my flight was supposed to depart! Fortunately, the flight attendant announced that my connecting flight was departing from gate C-21. Since I was coming out of gate C-6, I began to hope that I might actually be able to make it. After all, I could have had to travel to gate A or gate B. I rushed off the plane shouldering a travel bag packed full of books that I couldn’t even zip closed. I dragged behind me the cheapest rolling suitcase money can buy. As I made my way off the flight, I was practically running roughshod through people, stiff-arming slowpokes in my way. I had only one thing on my mind: I had to get to gate C-21.
I looked at the signs for directions to gate C-21. The first sign told me to take a left out of terminal. So I took off running. The directions to C-21 took me up the longest escalator I’ve ever seen. They say, “Everything is bigger in Texas,” but this was a proverbial “stairway to heaven.” I thought, “I am either on Candid Camera or I am a contestant on Amazing Race.” After I got off the escalator, the next sign directed me to take a tram. After I got off the tram, the arrow to C-21 took me down another long escalator. This dropped me off at C-29. I thought to myself: I just have to make it to gate C-21. This can’t be too far, perhaps a few yards? Well, I ended up sprinting a long-distance, what you might call “Texas yards.” I arrived at C-25 and was worn out. I could see gate C-21 in the distance, but I was hot, sweaty, and bothered. So I slowed to a walk! But then I thought to myself: I may still have a chance. I can’t stop now; I’ve got to sprint to the finish line. I don’t want to be turned away because I missed the flight by a matter of seconds. So I went back to my all-out last leg sprint for the finish line.
I arrived at the gate and was greeted by an African-American gentleman who said, “What’s your name?” Practically panting, I said, “Keith Krell.” He exclaimed, “My man, why didn’t you just turn right out of your terminal and walk to your flight? You would have been here in no time.” All I could do was aimlessly stare at him and dejectedly reply, “I was just following the signs. I did the best I could.” I then walked onto the plane as the scoundrel. Yes, that’s right, the very last passenger who had held up the flight. As I walked down what seemed to be a mile-long Texas aisle, I could feel the eyes of my fellow passengers burning holes through me. Naturally, I tried not to make eye contact with people, but it was pretty hard to avoid their irritated eyes and furrowed brows. All I could think about was inconspicuously getting to my seat as fast as possible. When I finally arrived at my seat, I opened up the overhead compartment and found it full of suitcases. I began frantically checking the next several compartments, which were also full. I finally had to humble myself and ask a flight attendant if there was any available space for my suitcase. She took me into first class were I was able to secure my suitcase. This meant I had to once again walk all the way back to my seat. When I sat down, I then couldn’t get my other carry on bag to fit underneath my seat. It was Murphy’s Law at its best.
As I sat down in my seat, it immediately dawned on me that many times I do this same thing in my spiritual life. I take the long way around my personal problems and my ministry messes. I do my best to do everything right. I strive to follow all the right steps. I read all the right books and talk to all the right people. But somewhere in the midst of my hard work and frantic rush, I forget to cry out to Jesus and depend upon Him. If I would just stop and listen to Jesus, He would tell me, “Just take a right and save yourself some precious time. Cling to My cross and rely upon My resurrection.” In John 16:16-33, Jesus talks to His disciples about the challenges that will await them after His departure. He offers an essential reminder that the resurrection is a life-changing truth that empowers you and me to live the Christian life. He says: Times of trouble are times for trust.
In 16:16-19, John reveals that you’ll experience perplexity in the crises of life if you fail to appreciate the implications of Christ’s resurrection. Jesus says, “‘A little while, and you will no longer see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me.’ Some of His disciples then said to one another, ‘What is this thing He is telling us, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’; and, ‘because I go to the Father’?1 So they were saying, ‘What is this that He says, ‘A little while’? We do not know what He is talking about. Jesus knew that they wished to question Him, and He said to them, ‘Are you deliberating together about this, that I said, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me, and again a little while, and you will see Me’?” You’re probably thinking: What a bizarre series of verses, right? I’m with you. This is a peculiar exchange between Jesus and His disciples. Verses 16, 17, and 19 contain an identical refrain (“a little while”) that concerns first, not seeing Jesus shortly, and second, seeing Jesus shortly.2 It sounds like an ancient game of peek-a-boo: “Now you see Me; now you don’t.” Naturally, the disciples have no idea what Jesus is saying so they converse among themselves. Their confusion is somewhat understandable. In 16:10, Jesus has said that He is going to the Father and they will not see Him any longer. Then He says that they will see Him, and it won’t be long. What does this all mean?3 Quite simply, Jesus is saying that His time on earth is drawing to a close. His disciples will only see Him for another few hours. But in three days, they will see Him again when He rises from the dead (cf. 20:17-23).
It’s a lot easier for us to see Jesus’ intended meaning since we have the full counsel of God’s Word. The disciples, on the other hand, are expecting a Messiah that will rule and reign, not die and depart.4 So they began discussing what Jesus means. The verb tense5 in 16:18 that is translated “they were saying” denotes that the disciples were continually speaking among themselves, so we get the picture that there is a considerable amount of discussion going on. Nevertheless, I appreciate their willingness to admit their ignorance instead of pretending to be spiritual know-it-alls. Sadly, they didn’t take their questions to Jesus. Instead, they tried to figure things out for themselves. So here they are talking amongst themselves when they should be listening to Jesus.6 Stop right now and say, “Note to self: Don’t try to figure out the Bible myself. Rather, ask Jesus and the Holy Spirit for revelation. Don’t attempt to neatly categorize and systemize the Bible.” There are some biblical tensions. One of the reasons Jesus included these in Scripture is so that we would have to depend upon Him and ask Him for insight. Similarly, our church needs to be a safe place that welcomes questions from those seeking to understand the Bible. We must do what we can to help people feel comfortable enough to ask spiritual questions. In our day and age, most people (including many Christians) know very little about the Scriptures. We must help each other grow in our understanding of His Word.
In 16:20-24, John explains that you can enjoy peace despite your crises if you rest in Christ’s resurrection. In 16:20-22 Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, that you7 will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy. Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world. Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.”8You’ve got to hand it to Jesus; He always tells His disciples the truth in advance. In these verses, the noun “sorrow” and the verb translated “be sorrowful” appear four times, while words with similar meanings (“weep,” “lament,” and “anguish”) appear three times. The noun “joy” and its verb “rejoice,” appear five times.9 Each time a word associated with sorrow is used, it is contrasted with joy.10 Jesus’ point: The greatest spiritual progress often follows the greatest sufferings. The greatest blessing that would ever come to these apostles—the gift of the Holy Spirit—would follow the greatest trauma they had ever experienced.11 It has been observed that Jesus does not tell His disciples that their sorrow will be replaced by joy, but rather that their sorrow will be turned into joy. There is a very significant difference. Many wish to have joy, but they want to have it without sorrow. If joy is sorrow which God has transformed into joy, then we must endure the sorrow to experience the joy. Remember, times of trouble are times for trust.
I must confess, I got a kick out of Jesus’ illustration about childbearing in 16:21. I could never get away with using such an illustration! I’d be feathered and tarred and run out of town. But Jesus, the Son of God, can say whatever He likes. I do smile a bit, though, because Jesus spoke these words in the presence of eleven men. Even though He could have gotten away with these words, He didn’t speak them in the presence of any women. I would also add that it is likely that Jesus is using hyperbole when He refers to a woman who no longer remembers the pain of her labor.12 I suspect most women remember the pain for a relatively long time. Perhaps just reading these words causes you pain. You will never forget all that you went through. But the pain of childbirth is turned into joy as you behold your child. Likewise, our temporary trials will be turned into joy (cf. 2 Cor 4:16-18).
In the last clause of 16:22 Jesus says, “. . . no one will take your joy away from you.” I love this! No matter what kind of earthly success you experience, it is temporary. You may be smart, successful, strong, popular, and good-looking, but these blessings can fade like a breath. The joy that Jesus offers is eternal. It is good for this life and the life to come. As the old adage says, “Happiness is the result of happenings, whereas joy is the result of Jesus.” Today, will you choose joy regardless of your circumstances?
In 16:23-24, Jesus transitions to the topic of prayer. He does so because He recognizes that prayer is essential when one encounters troubling times. Jesus says: “In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.”13After Jesus’ death and resurrection, many of the disciples’ questions will be answered. Furthermore, Jesus’ death and resurrection will open for them the way to prayer to the Father in Jesus’ name (cf. 14:13; 15:16).14 I’m not referring to what you hear on Christian television: “In Jeeeeeeesus name.” Nor am I speaking about how our children often conclude their prayers with a rapid-fire, slurred version of “InJesusNameAmen.” To pray in Jesus’ name means to pray that Jesus’ will is accomplished on earth as it is in heaven. It is to pray that His plan, program, and purpose are accomplished. When you pray according to His will, your prayers will be answered.15
It is significant that the joy Christ promises is connected with prayer.16 Although prayer is designed for God’s glory, it’s also for our good. The purpose clause at the end of 16:24 reads: “so that your joy may be made full.” So, why is the church lacking in joy? Why are you lacking in joy? What is it that Jesus Christ has already done that you are trying to do? Jesus wants you and me to pray to Him. He wants us to cry out to Him. He wants you to come to the end of yourself. He wants us to cry out, “I can’t . . . you can . . . please help.” Times of trouble are times for trust.
In 16:25-33, John explains that you can enjoy peace despite life’s crises if you rest in Christ’s resurrection. In 16:25 Jesus says, “These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; an hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but will tell you plainly of the Father.” Explicit predictions about future events would have overtaxed the disciples’ weak faith at this point (cf. 16:12-13), so Jesus spoke to the disciples in figures of speech.17 He then immediately follows up his figure with two more verses on prayer: “In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I will request of the Father on your behalf; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father” (16:26-27). With small variations, this promise is repeated six times in this discourse.18 The reason: Disciples are often guilty of being prayerless. In these verses, Jesus emphasizes God the Father’s great love for the disciples. Despite their unfaithfulness, God had a deep love for them because they love Jesus. Consequently, Jesus’ death will afford the disciples a deeper and more intimate relationship with His Father. They will now have the opportunity to pray to the Father 24-7. Jesus would no longer need to pray on their behalf in the role of an earthly priest, but He will intercede for them as a heavenly priest.19 What a privilege to experience direct communion with the God of the universe!
Yet, the sad truth is most Christians are more concerned with God’s blessings than they are with God’s presence. In other words, many Christians are seeking a God who provides secrets and solutions to better health, a better career, a better marriage and family, or more money. What about you? Do you see prayer as a “request-line” or as a “life-line?” Jesus wants you and me to be in love with Him. He wants us to deeply desire Him above all else. Today, will you respond to the Father’s love and begin to communicate with Him? He wants to hear from you. Maybe you are intimidated because you assume that you’ll have to pray two or three hours a day. Don’t worry about the duration of time. Simply take a baby step and make a commitment to begin talking to God. When my children want to talk with me, even if it’s just a sentence or two, I want to listen and hear from them. My oldest son Joshua will be a teenager in six weeks. From what I’ve been told as my children move into the teenage years, I may relish even a simple sentence of conversation. Did you know that God feels this way about you? He wants to converse with you. He wants you to pour out your heart to Him—your dreams, your hopes, your interests. While He already knows all of it, He still thoroughly enjoys fellowship with you. I know this is mind boggling, but it’s true. God loves you and desires intimacy with you through prayer.
The reason that God can have unconditional love for you and me is found in 16:28. Jesus says, “I came forth from the Father and have come into the world; I am leaving the world again and going to the Father.” This verse is a summary of the whole visit of the Son to the world. It includes His mission, nativity, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. Everything that Jesus is and all that He has accomplished makes it possible for us to have a relationship with God and to be recipients of His love.
In 16:29-32, John records a surprising exchange. Jesus’ disciples say, “‘Lo, now You are speaking plainly and are not using a figure of speech. Now we know that You know all things, and have no need for anyone to question You; by this we believe that You came from God.’ Jesus answered them, ‘Do you now believe? Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.” The overconfidence of the disciples is startling! Apparently now, everything is crystal clear. The light switch has been flicked on. Yet, Jesus humbles them with a question with thinly veiled skepticism, amounting to a mild rebuke: “Do you now believe?” Jesus is speaking with a bit of irony and sarcasm. However, Jesus’ words do not imply that their faith in Him is non-existent; they have believed that He is the Messiah (cf. 2:11). He is merely saying that at the present time their faith is inadequate. After the resurrections occurs, the disciples will come to believe that He is both Lord and God (cf. 20:28). You and I continue in the Christian life the same way we began, by believing in Jesus. The more we learn of Christ, the more we have to believe. The more we place our trust in Jesus, the more we receive. The more we receive, the more we can accomplish for His glory.20
Jesus proceeds to allude to Zech 13:7.21 As predicted, all the disciples (except Peter and John, 18:15) abandoned Jesus when He was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. Even though He was abandoned by His disciples, Jesus wasn’t completely alone—the Father is with Him.22 And important principle emanates from Jesus’ words: People (even disciples) are fickle, but God is faithful.23 The truth is your spouse will disappoint you. Your children and grandchildren will disappoint you. Your coworkers and neighbors will disappoint you. Your pastors and elders will disappoint you. There will be times in your life when it seems like everyone has let you down and you’re all alone. Yet, Jesus wants you to know that God will never leave you nor forsake you (cf. Heb 13:5). I believe God often allows people to disappoint us so that we have no one to look to but Him. If people always meet our needs and never disappointed us, we would never choose to look to God. We could be satisfied in all of our horizontal relationships with other people. Ultimately, God wants us to be satisfied with Him alone. He yearns for our vertical relationship to be the most important pursuit in our lives. Will you prioritize God today because you’re grateful for His faithfulness, not because everyone has left you high and dry? He wants your love and gratitude. Times of trouble are times for trust.
Jesus’ final words in this passage are also His final words to His disciples on the way to the Garden of Gethsemane. Chapter 17 begins Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer to the Father. So Jesus has been building up to an important word in 16:33. He says: “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage;24 I have overcome the world.” The phrase “these things I have spoken to you” refers back to all that Jesus has said in the Upper Room Discourse. What Jesus has been building up to is a single word: PEACE. Jesus wants the disciples to experience His peace. He knows that they are anxious and frightened over His departure so He offers them peace. First though, He assures His disciples that they will have “tribulation.” This is one Bible promise very few “claim” today. The word “tribulation” (thilipsis) doesn’t point to some minor irritation, but to very real hardship. It is used, for example, of the treading of grapes.25 Perhaps you can relate to this. Do you ever feel like you are being squished and squashed? Do you ever feel like your insides are being sprayed all over the place? Today, are you feeling pressure to the breaking point? The world offers pressure; Christ offers peace. He is available to you today.
Jesus says, “I have overcome the world.” Notice, He doesn’t say, “I will overcome the world.” Instead, he uses a perfect tense verb which refers to a past act with abiding results.26 The verb translated “overcome” is the Greek verb nikao. The noun form is nike, which means “victory.” I’d like to believe that the Nike Corporation chose their name based upon Jesus words in John 16:33, but this may be wishful thinking. Nevertheless, the reason that you and I can experience peace in this world is because Jesus has already overcome the world. In eternity past, the Trinity gathered and determined that God would be most glorified by providing a way for humankind to enter into a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ. True peace occurs when you and I cling to the cross and rely upon His resurrection.
Perhaps, you’re dealing with a daunting besetting sin that is laying waste to you. Have you stopped to reflect on the fact that Christ’s resurrection has resurrected you and has given you all the power you need to overcome your vice? Maybe you’re spiraling downward in depression over your marriage and family problems or your work circumstances. Did you know that Christ’s resurrection power can soften hearts and change circumstances? You may be feeling utterly hopeless because of your physical challenges. Yet, Christ’s resurrection promises you a new body with no more weakness, sickness, or death. The resurrection can raise you up in the midst of your trials and frustrations. Many times we’re looking for a “silver bullet” solution and Jesus is saying: “Won’t you please just return to the tried and true fundamentals of the faith. I want to give you hope, I want to minister to you in your time of need. But I want you to depend upon Me. Call out to Me today. Ask Me to come and meet your needs.” Times of trouble are times for trust.
I have read of an artist who wanted to paint a picture of peace. He chose, of all things, a storm beating against a rocky coast and depicted the waves, mountain high, crashing against the mighty rocks. He put a shipwreck in his picture, with a great ship driven up against the rocks and in the process of breaking up. In the water nearby there is the body of a drowned sailor. He has made it obvious that there is a wild storm beating against the coast and that this storm means danger and even death to people caught in it. But in the foreground there’s a mighty rock with a crack in it, and in the crack a dove has built her nest and is sitting in it, secure. Underneath, the artist has written the one word: “Peace.”27
Jesus promises you peace because He has overcome the world. As you cling to His cross and rely upon His resurrection, you will experience His victory even in life’s most difficult circumstances. Times of trouble are times for trust.
2 John 4
3 John 3-4
1 John 5:13-15
1. The disciples always struggled to understand Jesus’ words (16:17-18)? What practical steps can I take to ensure that I understand His words? Am I actively seeking out a more knowledgeable and obedient believer to help me understand and apply God’s Word?
2. Must a Christian always be happy (16:20, 22)? Why or why not? How do I distinguish between happiness and joy? What are some of the ways I can experience the joy which Christ promised? How can I challenge other believers in my life to exude Jesus’ joy?
3. Why shouldn’t Christians be fearful or anxious at the prospect of persecution (16:20-24, 32-33)? How have I been bold in the face of ridicule and persecution? What can I do to increase my courage under fire? Who will I encourage this week that is under attack for his/her faith in Christ?
4. In what ways might 16:28 be designated “a nutshell biography of Christ?” How would I want my biography to read? If I was writing an autobiography, what would I say about myself? What baby step can I take this week to live this kind of life?
5. What are the two spheres in which believers operate (16:33)? What is characteristic of each? Can a Christian be assured of ultimate victory in this life? Why or why not? What is the scriptural basis for a believer’s victory? How does Jesus overcome the world?
1 Utley observes, “It is characteristic of John that he uses dialogue to reveal truth. In John there are twenty-seven conversations with or about Jesus.” Bob Utley, John and I, II & III John: www.freebiblecommentary.org/pdf/EN/VOL04.pdf. 153.
2 The phrase “a little while” occurs often in John (cf. 7:33; 12:35; 13:33; 14:19). There have been several theories of what this idiomatic phrase means: (1) the post-resurrection appearances; (2) the Second Coming; (3) Jesus’ coming in and through the Holy Spirit; or (4) a reference to the church age. In the light of the context, the post-resurrection view is the only possibility (cf. 16:22). It is notable that the “little while” in 16:16a was only a matter of hours, the time between His present speaking with them and their last sight of him in the Garden of Gethsemane. Hence the second “little while” is arguably also a short time, the two to three days until Easter Sunday evening and their “seeing” Him as the risen Lord. See D. A. Carson, The Gospel According to John. Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1991), 543; Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John. Revised edition. New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), 623; Gary M. Burge, The Gospel of John. NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000), 440.
3 Burge, The Gospel of John, 440.
4 Earl Radmacher, Ronald B. Allen, and H. Wayne House, eds. Nelson’s New Illustrated Commentary (Nashville: Nelson, 1999), 1351.
5 John uses the imperfect tense of the Greek word lego which has a basic meaning of to “utter in words” or to “say.”
6 Gary Derickson and Earl Radmacher, The Disciplemaker (Salem, OR: Charis, 2001), 236.
7 Morris notes, “The word you is the emphatic pronoun and is saved up until the last place in the clause, which increases the emphasis. It means you—you of all people.” Leon Morris, Expository Reflections on the Gospel of John (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1988), 551.
8 Köstenberger writes, “OT Israel knew that it is God who is able to ‘turn their mourning into gladness’ and to give them ‘comfort and joy instead of sorrow’ (Jer. 31:13; cf. Isa. 61:2-3; 2 Esdr. [4 Ezra] 2:27).” Andreas J. Köstenberger, John. Baker Exegetical Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2004), 474.
9 William G. Morrice has a book entitled Joy in the New Testament, in which he examines twenty-four words the NT writers used to convey this sense of joy, words that occur a total of 326 times. Quoted in Morris, Expository Reflections on the Gospel of John, 549.
10 In John 16:16-19, not beholding Jesus and seeing Jesus were paired. In this section, sorrow and joy are paired. Not beholding Jesus causes sorrow; seeing Jesus causes joy.
11 D.A. Carson, The Farewell Discourse and Final Prayer of Jesus: An Exposition of John 14-17 (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1980), 161; Michael Eaton, John. Preaching Through the Bible (Kent, UK: Sovereign World Trust, 2009), 252-53.
12 J. Carl Laney, John. Moody Press Commentary (Chicago: Moody, 1992),
13 Morris, The Gospel According to John, 628: The present tense of the imperative aiteite (“ask”) in John 16:24, conveying the continual nature of the asking. Note also the presence of two different words for “ask” (erotao) in 16:23 and aiteo three times in 16:23-24, whereby the former refers to the barrage of questions that the disciples had for Jesus prior to the crucifixion (cf. 16:5, 30), and the latter to prayer requests subsequent to his exaltation.
14 Burge, The Gospel of John, 442.
15 John summarizes his own prayer life in a verse in his first epistle: “And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight” (1 John 3:22).
16 J. Carl Laney, Marching Orders (Wheaton: Victor, 1983), 134.
17 Philip W. Comfort and Wendell C. Hawley, Opening the Gospel of John (Wheaton: Tyndale, 1994), 264.
18 See John 14:13, 14; 15:16; 16:23-24, 26; cf. also 15:7.
19 Rom 8:34 cf. 1 John 2:1-2.
20 Radmacher, Allen, and House, eds. Nelson’s New Illustrated Commentary, 1351.
21 Zech 13:7 is fully quoted in Matt 26:31 and Mark 14:27.
22 Comfort and Hawley, Opening the Gospel of John, 265.
23 Köstenberger, John. 479 n. 81.
24 The Greek word thareso, translated “take courage” is one that only Jesus uses in the NT (cf. Matt 9:2, 22; 14:27; Mark 6:50; 10:49; John 16:33; Acts 23:11). This word describes the attitude Jesus sought in the disciples during the Galilee storm (Matt 14:27; Mark 6:50). It was also the word given by the Lord to Paul in Jerusalem when he was surrounded by enemies (Acts 23:11). Jesus was the great encourager.
25 Morris, Expository Reflections on the Gospel of John, 563.
26 This is the only instance of the term nikao in John’s Gospel. The expression occurs several times in John’s first epistle (2:13, 14; 4:4; 5:4, 5) and over a dozen times in the Book of Revelation (esp. in the letters to the seven churches in chs. 2 and 3). The related noun nike occurs in 1 John 5:4. Other NT references to the victory won by Jesus (extended to believers) include John 12:31; Rom. 8:37 (hupernikao); 1 Cor 15:57 (nikos). The verb occurs rarely in the OT, with Ps. 50:6 LXX showing God as conqueror (cited in Rom 3:4). See also Köstenberger, John, 479.
27 Morris, Expository Reflections on the Gospel of John, 563.