1 “These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble.
Chapter 16 is a continuation of 15:18-27 dealing with the themes of persecution and the Holy Spirit. This chapter also moves into prediction.
1 “These things I have spoken to you,
“These things” are the warnings that Jesus gave at the close of the previous chapter (Jn 15:18-27). He now expanded on the reason for these warnings.
that [purpose] you should not be made to stumble [go astray].
Jesus did not want His followers to become blindsided by coming persecution, so He prepared them for what lay ahead. Persecution can cause some to wobble in their faith. The Greek word “stumble” in this context carries the idea of to falter in faith.
Believers need to be alert to the possibility of a fall.
Spiritual preparation is necessary to confront adversity in ministry. Every follower of Christ needs to fully understand the implication of what it means to be a disciple. Severe trial will be the lot of those who dare minister on behalf of Christ. It is dangerous to approach ministry with starry-eyed optimism.