John 16.20 cont.
20 In all sincerity I tell you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be full of grief, but your grief will become joy.
It is generally assumed that Jesus was speaking about the sorrow that His disciples were to experience by His being arrested, tried, and killed by crucifixion. It is also assumed that the joy to which Jesus referred was the joy they were to experience when He was raised from the dead.
W Barclay also tells us that the sorrow and joy that the disciples were to experience could also refer to the second coming of Jesus.
He states that all Jews in the time of Jesus saw the ages as being divided in two parts.
1 The present age.
This is the age in which they were living. It was a time of wickedness. Paul may have referred to this when writing to the Romans.;
 As the Scriptures say, “No one is good, not even one.
 No one has real understanding; no one is seeking God.
 All have turned away from God; all have gone wrong. No one does good, not even one” – Romans 3.10-12 (NLT). Paul was quoting from Psalm 14.1-3.
As we look at our present world we see much the same thing. The majority of people do not believe in God, they have not put their trust in Jesus for their salvation.
It was an age of condemnation. In John chapter 3 we have already seen that those who do not believe in Jesus have condemned themselves:
Those who believe in Him are not judged, those who do not believe have already been judged, because they have not believed in the Name of the one and only Son of God – John 3.18. (The word ‘judged’ is also the word ‘condemned.)
In Romans 8.1 Paul also refers to condemnation when he wrote:
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus – (NLT).
It was the age where evil prevailed.
Again we can see that we live in a world that refuses to accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, and therefore, condemns itself to the judgement and wrath of God.
2 The age to come.
The Jews believed that the golden age was still to come. This was the age of God’s supreme rule.
All sin, sickness, and disease would vanish. Wickedness would be replaced by the righteousness of God.
It was the age that would see the coming of the Messiah.
The expectation of all believers is the return of Jesus to reign as King and Lord of all.
To be continued tomorrow.