Face to Face

A Trinitarian Christ-centered paraphrase of John 16.16-33

(16.16) “I’m about to be taken away from you guys, but you’ll see me again shortly thereafter.”

(17) The disciples were all like “Whatchoo talkin bout, Jesus?  ‘Going away’ and ‘Coming back’ and ‘Going to Papa’ (18) and ‘shortly therafter’?”

(19) Jesus said, “I’ll tell you what I’m talkin bout: (20) You will weep while the crowds cheer.  But your grief will give way to joy. (21) Giving birth is painful, but the pain is nothing compared to the joy of having a new baby. (22) You will have pain, but when I see you again on the third day, you will have joy, and no one will be able to take it away from you.

(23) On that day, you will not ask me for things.  Instead, you will ask Papa in my name, and he will give to you.  (24) This will be a change from how things were before.  You will be a full participant in the Triune conversation.  You will ask, you will receive, and you will overflow with our joy.  (25) I’ve been using figures of speech.  But soon you will be able to hear me speak of Papa more simply. (26) That is when you  will ask for what you want in my name.  Let me be perfectly clear:  This does NOT mean I will ask Papa FOR you.  You won’t need to hind behind me as we live face-to-face with Papa together, (27) for Papa loves you just like I do.  You will know his love more and more as you continue to love me and believe that he sent me.  (28) Papa sent me to be present with you in the world in this way, but this phase of the plan is almost over.  My current mode of presence will end.  When I ascend as a man to Papa’s right hand, I will be with you in a new way.”

(29) His disciples said “Now you’re talking so we can understand.  Hooray, no more riddles! (30) We get it now!  You know who you are, and now we know too.  You are definitely from Papa.  We believe!”

(31) Jesus answered “You believe me?  Good.  (32) But the journey of belief has only just begun.  Now is when it gets hard.  In a couple minutes, you will all abandon me; you will run away and hide under your beds.  But don’t worry, I won’t be alone, because Papa will stay with me. (33) I’m saying this now so that when the storm comes, you will have some calm.  The System will come after you, just like it’s coming after me.  But don’t worry; the fight belongs to me.  The System is dead meat.

**These paraphrases aim to provoke a fresh reading of Scripture by taking seriously the twin mysteries of Trinity and Incarnation**

~  John Stonecypher

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