The Scriptures covered in this post are from John 16:29-33.
John 16:29-33 NASB reads as follows: “His disciples said, “See, now You are speaking plainly and are not using any figure of speech. Now we know that You know all things, and that You have no need for anyone to question You; this is why we believe that You came forth from God.” Jesus replied to them, “Do you now believe? Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
You know, as I read over these Scripture verses, I thought to myself, isn’t this just like so many of us, myself included, stating that we do understand and that we do believe, not fully comprehending that which lies in front of us, that which we may be asked to go through or endure.
The disciples make their collective statement of faith or you could call it a declaration of belief, and what does Jesus say to them? “Do you now believe? There is a question in Jesus’ statement, so one could paraphrase Jesus’ statement as: “Do you now really believe?” And then, of course, Jesus tells them exactly what is about to happen. “Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.”
Of course, this is before Jesus is resurrected and it is before Pentecost where the disciples are filled with God’s Holy Spirit, but note the aloneness that Jesus identifies will happen, both to them and to Himself. I don’t know about you, but that “aloneness” that Jesus speaks of, speaks to me. That “aloneness” is felt by all of us, individually, because when push comes to shove, in spite of who we may love or in spite of who we may be with, there comes a time when we speak solely for ourselves and what is about to happen next, deals specifically with just our individual self.
But the statement that Jesus makes is not finished because Jesus continues with ” . . . and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.”
That “and yet” speaks for Jesus and it also speaks for our individual selves. Neither Jesus or ourselves are alone. Why? Because God our heavenly Father is with Jesus and He is also with us. This is where the rubber hits the road, this is the reality of being at one with God. God the Father is with Jesus because He was sent by His Father, to fulfill His will, which He did, and God the Father loves His Son, and God the Father is with us because of our faith and trust in God’s remedy for our state of sinful being, made possible through the obedience of the Son, so that we are also adopted sons and daughters, loved by the Father, because of our faith in the Son.
Do you remember in the preceding Scriptures that we just covered, how Jesus tells us in John 16:27: “for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father.” ?
Alone but not alone. Such is the reality of real faith. Look at Abraham’s faith, or Moses, or King David. All of them knew that “aloneness” and all of them believed beyond the aloneness of themselves, in what God had told them and shown them what He would do. Remember that, because it is vitally important!
But Jesus is NOT finished. I know, there’s more!
“These things I have spoken to you so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
I was speaking to a co-worker yesterday, about the things that Jesus said. This co-worker happens to be a well educated individual who also is a Pagan Wicca (long story for another time). I was telling him about the words that Jesus spoke and how vitally important they are, because of what Jesus revealed and explained to us.
If this statement by Jesus isn’t an example of a mountain crusher, I don’t know what is.
Forgive me but I do have to repeat it again.
“These things I have spoken to you SO THAT IN ME YOU MAY HAVE PEACE.” Emphasis is mine.
What things? Easy to answer, about what is or was about to happen.
Could this apply to us today. Absolutely!
Where is our focus to be on if we want to experience the peace of God that passes all understanding? Is our focus to be on what is happening around us OR on Jesus?
No, this is not a trick question and no, Jesus clearly indicates that there is only ONE correct answer.
Why? Jesus tells us.
“In the world you have tribulation, BUT TAKE COURAGE; I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD.” Emphasis is mine.
“in the world you have tribulation”. Jesus said you HAVE tribulation. Jesus did NOT say you will have, He said you have. That is a constant.
Tribulation could be any one or a combination of things like wars, famines, and yes, even a virus pandemic, which we are currently experiencing, which is just one of a number of tribulations that are unfolding before us, at this current period of time.
“BUT TAKE COURAGE; I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD.”
What does “take courage” mean? It means do NOT become consumed or have your faith in Jesus offset because of what is happening around us. It means do NOT fear, it means do NOT be afraid.
Why? Jesus tells us: I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD.
Notice Jesus did NOT say I WILL overcome the world. Jesus said I HAVE overcome the world. That is a done deal. There is no alternative narrative. How does that correlate with the faith of Abraham, Moses and David?
As Christians, we should be aware of what is happening around us.
As Christians, we can even have opinions on why we think what is happening around us, is indeed happening.
But what do you think the message of the Church, to a world of constant tribulation should be? And how does that correlate with the Great Commission that Jesus gave us?
I will leave these questions unanswered because I would think you already know the answer.
I know, it’s not easy. But the peace of God comes with trusting what God has said, and not with focusing on the constant tribulation. If we as the Church are to be different, why aren’t we?
More to follow.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!
Musings From the Gospel of John – Number 46
The Scriptures covered in this post are from John 16:29-33.