Tuesday, November 25, 2014

John 16:16-33

“Let not your heart be troubled…” these had been the words that Jesus started the conversation with on this dark, disconcerting night. He then explained that while He would go away for a while, it was necessary, because He had to prepare a place for His disciples. Losing Jesus was an understandably disheartening reality for the disciples, so Jesus addressed their concern by letting them know that He would not leave them comfortless. He would send the Holy Spirit to dwell with them and to dwell in them. He would give them strength, and He would guide them into the truth.
As Jesus finished addressing His disciples, He explained one last comforting truth to them, God the Father loves you. In essence Jesus said, “Your faith in me, ties you in an inseparable relationship with God the Father.” He further encouraged them that from now on, they should come to the Father in prayer and ask Him to provide for them, and protect them, and to accomplish His will in them. This was one of the greatest realities that Jesus could teach His disciples. After Jesus completed His work on the cross, believers could have unfettered access to God the Father.
In a couple hours, Jesus would be arrested and taken to His fake trial. Knowing that this would be devastating to the confidence of the disciples, Jesus forewarned them that they would all be scattered into the night. His comfort for them in light of this scattering was to tell them to not worry about Him. How selfless! “You are going to be scattered, but don’t worry about me.” He was telling them that while He was captured and being beaten, they didn’t need to worry for Him. In this selfless, loving moment with His disciples, Jesus taught what faith in God the Father looks like.
“Everyone will leave me, yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.” During His final hours, as Jesus marched to the cross, God would be with Him. He would not be alone on this road, God the Father was with Him until the end. This confidence and assurance was what Jesus wanted His disciples to hear before they were forced to flee into the night. “These things have I spoken to you, that in me ye might have peace.” Because of Jesus, there would be no tribulation too great, no trial to disturbing, no long night too overwhelming that His love and grace could not offer peace to His followers.
So, how would the disciples respond on this night, after hearing the message of peace and access to God? By the time the night was over, Jesus would be bound, and on trial. The disciples would forget the teaching of Jesus, and would flee. The two that didn’t flee, Peter and John, would find an entirely different set of concerns as they followed Jesus from one hostile environment to the next. It would eventually be Peter, the bold one, that denied Jesus. The disciples would not learn it yet, but eventually they would. Eventually the Comforter would come, and would equip them with strength for moments like this.

Food For Thought: In His final teaching before going to the garden to pray and be arrested, what truth did Jesus reveal for His disciples?