“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Explanation and Commentary of John 16:33
Jesus tells us to take his yoke and it will be easy, and that his burden is light (Mt 11:30). But nowhere does he promise that there will be no external trouble from the fallen world in which we live, or that God won’t design for us some refining fire for our good and his glory. Our Master and Savior suffered greatly at the hands of evil men. In this life, we deal with the trials of sickness, tragedy, natural disasters, and malevolence.
And yet, for the Christian, we are able to walk through it all with peace and purpose. The life that God calls us to is wonderful because Jesus has overcome the world. Christ suffered mightily because God called him to suffer. And yet, the author of Hebrews says that Christ was anointed with the “oil of joy” (Heb 1:9).
Here, Jesus promises peace. If we trust him and walk faithfully in our lives through what God has for us, being thankful (1 Thes 5:18) for every little blessing, we will live a life of joy and peace in the presence of God.
Breaking Down the Key Parts of John 16:33
#1 “I have told you these things,”
Previously in the same chapter, Jesus told the disciples that he is leaving them soon, that he will suffer, that they too will suffer, and even that they would all scatter and leave him alone in his greatest hour of need. But he also told them that they would rejoice after mourning for a while. He told them that he would send his Holy Spirit to comfort them and guide them.
#2 “so that in me you may have peace.”
It was not the information itself that was to bring them peace. Although it would help when trouble came for them to remember that Jesus had been prophetic in his warning, their peace would be in Christ. Seeking peace anywhere else is a trap. Other methods of finding peace or security only lead to anxiety. The peace we find in Christ is eternal and will withstand any circumstances.
#3 “In this world you will have trouble.”
Put away any false doctrine of prosperity. Make no mistake, seeking the Kingdom of God and his righteousness (Mt 6:33) and living wisely unto God will make it highly likely that you will prosper, but no one, Christian or not Christian, avoids trouble in this life if they live very long.
#4 “But take heart!”
To take heart means to gird up your courage, or be encouraged. Jesus’ words are meant to embolden us and strengthen our spirit for the fight ahead.
#5 “I have overcome the world.”
When Jesus spoke these words he had not yet faced his trial in the Garden of Gethsemane. He had not yet suffered the mocking, beating, spitting, and torture at the hands of the Jews and the Romans. He had not yet been abandoned by all his followers, betrayed by his disciple, or denied by one of his closest friends. He had not yet been hung on a cross and forsaken by his Father for the only time in all of eternity. And yet, that he had already overcome the world was evident in the tense he used (I have, rather than I will). He would face what was to come because he was the Lamb slain since the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8). As his followers, we too can face anything because, in Him, we too have overcome. Take heart and walk out what God has for you for your joy and his glory.
Bible Study with Commentary on John 16:33
Sermon on John 16
Biblical Translations of John 16:33
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.