John 16:1 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 16:1, NIV: "All this I have told you so that you will not fall away."

John 16:1, ESV: "“I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away."

John 16:1, KJV: "These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended."

John 16:1, NASB: "'These things I have spoken to you so that you may be kept from stumbling."

John 16:1, NLT: "'I have told you these things so that you won't abandon your faith."

John 16:1, CSB: ""I have told you these things to keep you from stumbling."

What does John 16:1 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

"These things" refers to the comments Jesus has been making to His disciples. They have just shared the Last Supper (John 13:1–5), and Christ is giving His final set of instructions prior to being arrested and crucified (John 15:1–17). Part of that teaching is the persecution these men—and by extension, all Christians—are liable to in an unbelieving world (John 15:18–25). The encouragement of Christ, in part, comes with the reminder that the Holy Spirit will be there with them, even in their suffering (John 15:26–27).

Here, Jesus explains a key reason why He lays out these dire predictions. Simply knowing something is coming makes it easier to endure. Few things inspire fear more than the unknown. Pain, setbacks, and other problems frighten us mostly because we don't know the outcome. However, when we have advanced notice, and know they're part of something controlled, our fear is reduced. Instead of panicking when trouble hits, we can take some comfort in knowing, "this is exactly what we expected…this is nothing out of control."

Christ's intent is for believers to remember these predictions when they suffer persecution. Without advance notice, believers might be tempted to think "this is not what I expected…did God know this would happen?" Instead, in hard times, Christians can say, "I don't have to like this, but I know it's part of God's plan…and He has it all under control." This is a point Jesus repeats often in this discourse (John 13:19; 14:25; 16:4).