John 15:17-16:4 speaks to the world’s opposition to Christ and his people. Carson notes that the theological difference between Church and the world is fundamental. The differences result in a different sociology which provokes enmity (Carson 1991, 524). A Christian view of joyful submission to God is foreign to a world which wishes to assert the independent individual (Carson 1991, 525). Despite this opposition, Jesus is clear in verses 22 and following that God’s redemptive work is not in any danger (Carson 1991, 527). The Scriptures point to redemption. There is no need to doubt God’s plan. It is confirmed by the coming of the Holy Spirit, who will testify about Jesus (Carson 1991, 529). Carson sees the important emphasis not on the source of the procession of the Holy Spirit but on the fact that the Holy Spirit will work as Jesus is ascended. In sum, the persecution faced by Christians is to be seen as a rejection of Jesus. Carson concludes that many times there are clear ideological reasons which lead to the death of Christians (Carson 1991, 531).
John 16:4-15 speaks of the Holy Spirit’s work (Carson 1991, 532). The passage does not follow as clearly as some commentators would like. Carson suggests that the disciples’ questioning of Jesus’ departure is not their actual concern. They may rather be expressing grief that he is leaving at all (Carson 1991, 533). The disciples are clearly (vv. 6-7) filled with grief. Jesus promises the Holy Spirit to relieve their grief. The Spirit will make the sinfulness of sin obvious. He will demonstrate that the world is guilty (Carson 1991, 535). Though some of the nuances of the language can be debated, it is clear that the Holy Spirit confirms the work of Jesus. While Jesus is the authoritative Word of God, the Holy Spirit enables Jesus’ people to interpret him well (Carson 1991, 539).
John 16:16-33 looks ahead to a future joy (Carson 1991, 542). This future time is unclear. It could refer to the time after the resurrection or to a future second coming (Carson 1991, 543). Regardless, as shown in 16:17-18, the disciples are unprepared for the resurrection. It does not make sense to them. Jesus reassures them that their sorrow will turn to joy (Carson 1991, 544). The communication with God will also be wide open. Vese 24 speaks of a very direct kind of prayer (Carson 1991, 545). The care of the Father is very present for the Christian (Carson 1991, 547). The section ends with Jesus’ listeners affirming their understanding and commitment. Jesus contradicts their testimony. They will not be loyal. Yet, in verse 33, they will be restored (Carson 1991, 548-549).