“Now You Believe?”

“Now we know that You know everything and don’t need anyone to question You. By this we believe that You came from God.” Jesus responded to them, “Do you now believe?”
(John 16:30–31 HCSB)

The disciples say that they “believe that you came from God” because Jesus is finally! speaking to them in plain language and not in figures of speech [which are confusing and hard to understand].  Lest we lose sympathy for the disciples in their inability to understand, B. W. Johnson points out the hurdles they had to overcome in order to understand:

“On the morrow he would die at the ninth hour; that evening he would be buried, and for “a little while,” three days and nights, they would not see him; then he would rise, and for another “little while,” a space of forty days before “he went to his Father,” they would see him, while he remained on the earth. When he ascended to his Father they, in a spiritual sense, would “see him coming in the kingdom of God.” This is all very plain to us, but the apostles, to whom it was yet future, could not understand it.”

Jesus’ response to the disciples’ statement is interesting.  It’s not clear in the Greek whether Jesus makes a statement or a question.  Here are some examples of how his words are translated:

  • Now do you believe? – LEB
  • Do you finally believe? – NLT
  • You believe at last! – NIV

Whether it is a statement or a question, Jesus immediately disabuses the disciples of any pride they might have for coming to belief in him as God the Son.  He follows up his question/statement immediately with this zinger:

“Look: An hour is coming, and has come, when each of you will be scattered to his own home, and you will leave Me alone.” (John 16:32 HCSB)

Ouch!  That had to hurt.  They had no intention of scattering to their own homes and abandoning Jesus, but of course they would do exactly that, and in very short order.  It was a great failure on their part, a very great one.


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