Jesus Verse by Verse

an expanded commentary on the Gospel of Matthew

Jesus Verse by Verse...

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DIGRESSION 23: The Upper Room Discourse (John 14-16) and the Olivet Prophecy

The Upper Room Discourse (John 14-16)

The Olivet Prophecy

Jn. 13:1- the death of Christ.

"The end" Mt. 24:6- the coming of Christ.

Birth pangs- the sufferings of Christ and of the believer in life. "A woman when she is in labour has... anguish... in the world you shall have tribulation" (Jn. 16:21,33).

Birth pangs (Mt. 24:8)- The pains of the tribulation sufferings.

“Whoever kills you will think that he does God service” (Jn. 16:2)

Some of you will be killed (Mt. 24:9)

Believers will be “hated… for My Name’s sake” just because they are in Christ; such experience is inevitable throughout our lives (Jn. 15:18,21).

“Hated… for My Name’s sake” (Mt. 24:9)

Cast out of the synagogues (Jn. 16:2)

You shall be beaten in the synagogues (Mk. 13:9)

Strength not to be offended (Jn. 16:1)

Many offended (Mt. 24:10)

Hupomeno [“endure”] is a form of meno, the word used so often by the Lord in the upper room discourse for ‘abiding’ or remaining in Him. Again, it seems John has replaced the Olivet prophecy’s call to endure to the end of the tribulation period with an appeal for the believer to abide / endure in Christ to the end of life. The language of the tribulation is applied to the entirety of the Christian’s life.



Endure to the end (Mt. 24:13)- Hupomeno

“Let not your heart be troubled” (Jn. 14:1)… “neither be afraid” (Jn. 14:27)

Men’s hearts failing them for fear (Lk. 21:26)… “See that you are not troubled” (Mt. 24:6)

“I will come again and receive you unto Myself” (Jn. 14:3); the context requires that this ‘coming again’ is in the resurrection of Christ. For He is explaining that He is going away to death, but will come again from there. His resurrection was, in essence, was His ‘coming again’.

The second coming of Christ and the gathering of believers to Him by the Angels (Mt. 24:30,31).

“I have told you before it comes to pass” (Jn. 14:29).

“I have told you before” (Mt. 24:25).

The unfruitful branch is “taken away” from the vine of Israel (Jn. 15:2)

The same word is used for how the final judgments will ‘take away’ the unGodly (Mt. 24:39)

The branch of the vine [a symbol of Israel] that must bear fruit (Jn. 15:4); spiritual fruit on spiritual Israel

The tender branch of the fig tree [symbol of Israel] that must bear fruit before Christ returns (Mt. 24:32); spiritual fruit on natural Israel

The ‘gathering’ of the branches (Jn. 15:6)

The gathering of the responsible to judgment (Mt. 24:31) and of the eagles to the carcase (Mt. 24:28)

The Father is glorified by bringing forth spiritual fruit in this life- not simply by the physical coming of Christ in visible glory (Jn. 15:8)

Christ’s coming on the clouds of Heaven with great power and glory- i.e. the Father’s glory (Mt. 24:31)

“Love [agape]one another” (Jn. 15:17)

The agape of the majority shall become cold (Mt. 24:12)

The world will hate you if you are in Christ (Jn. 15:18). “The world hates you” (Jn. 15:19)- because we are in Christ. The experience of the tribulation period was already being experienced by the disciples, and will be throughout the lives of all in Christ.

Hated of all nations (Mt. 24:9)

“They will also persecute you” (Jn. 15:20)- not just in the tribulation, but in life, because Christ was “persecuted” and we are in Him, sharing His experiences.

The same word in Lk. 21:12 “They shall persecute you” in the final tribulation period.

“You shall bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning” (Jn. 15:27). Their witness was not just going to be in the tribulation- the witness was to be made by all believers at all times because of their personal experience of Jesus.

During the tribulation period, the Gospel will be preached as a witness [s.w.] to the world (Mt. 24:14)

“He will show you things to come”, literally, ‘the coming [one]’ (Jn. 16:13 s.w.). The Comforter, the spirit of Christ, His personal presence within the believer, would declare to them the coming of Christ- rather than seeking to match current events to the words of the Olivet prophecy. This would be the equivalent of the day star arising in the hearts of believers, to tell us that Christ is about to come (2 Pet. 1:19).

The literal ‘coming’ of Christ (Mt. 24:30,42,44,46,48 s.w.), heralded by the fulfilment of signs in the world / Israel.

“He shall glorify Me” (Jn. 16:14). The glory of the Lord Jesus at His return can be experienced in the transformed life today.

The Son of Man coming in glory (Mt. 24:30)

“You shall weep and lament” (Jn. 16:20)

The tribes of Israel will weep (Mt. 24:30)

“In the world you shall have tribulation” (Jn. 16:33)- the essence of the tribulation is to be lived out in our lives.

The tribulation of the final period of testing (Mt. 24:9,21,29 s.w. three times).

The Comforter, the presence of Jesus in the hearts of the believers which would be effectively as good as His physical presence. It would come or be sent from the Father (Jn. 15:27) just as Christ would be at His second coming.

When the potential, intended coming of Christ in the first century was rescheduled, John didn’t want the believers to lose heart. He therefore is saying that through the Comforter, the Lord is in spiritual essence with us. This teaching is sorely needed for those who see their whole lives in terms of studying Bible prophecies and hoping for the Lord’s physical coming in their lifetimes, often with very little personal sense of Jesus as being a present reality in their lives, stuck in a Christianity without Christ, because He is seen as absent and far away. Errors of interpretation and disappointments can destroy faith. But they have missed the essence- that Christ has ‘come’ to us already through the Comforter. The upper room discourse was given maybe 24 hours after the Olivet prophecy; clearly the Lord intended it to be a clarification and expansion upon the Olivet prophecy, as if to say ‘The things I told you on Olivet really can happen, although there are some conditions; but the essence of what I said there, in personal spiritual terms, is true for you for all time’. But the written form of the upper room discourse was only released by John, under inspiration, some time later than the Olivet prophecy, after the coming of Christ had already clearly been rescheduled.