Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Cor. 15:58


Thursday, June 28, 2012

John 16: You Are Not Alone

Blogging Through the Book of John

Chapter 16

(John 16:1-4) “I have told you these things so that you won’t abandon your faith. For you will be expelled from the synagogues, and the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing a holy service for God. This is because they have never known the Father or me. Yes, I’m telling you these things now, so that when they happen, you will remember my warning. I didn’t tell you earlier because I was going to be with you for a while longer.
Jesus warned the disciples that they they would be persecuted and even killed for their beliefs. They would be abandoned by the world. It could happen to us. In fact, it does. People are killed every day in the world for believing in God. In our country, Christians are sometimes not painted in the best light. Jesus knew all of this was going to happen, and He gave us tools to use to make it through.

(John 16:5-11) “But now I am going away to the one who sent me, and not one of you is asking where I am going. Instead, you grieve because of what I’ve told you. But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me. 10 Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. 11 Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged.

When people die, we mainly focus on the bad, the sadness WE feel. Same for these disciples. They were grieved because they loved Jesus, but Jesus told them that it was a good thing that was going to happen to him. If it didn't happen, no one would or could be saved. The Holy Spirit had to couldn't come until it happened. The found little comfort in that, though, at the time.

(John 16:12-15) “There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. 14 He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’

I'd LOVE to know what else Jesus wanted to tell them, but couldn't because they were too grieved! Can you imagine the things Jesus knows that we don't? It's an amazing though!

(John 16:16-24) “In a little while you won’t see me anymore. But a little while after that, you will see me again.”
17 Some of the disciples asked each other, “What does he mean when he says, ‘In a little while you won’t see me, but then you will see me,’ and ‘I am going to the Father’? 18 And what does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand.”
19 Jesus realized they wanted to ask him about it, so he said, “Are you asking yourselves what I meant? I said in a little while you won’t see me, but a little while after that you will see me again. 20 I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy. 21 It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world. 22 So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy. 23 At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name. 24 You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.

Jesus wanted them so badly to feel joy for him. I have tears thinking about him giving the speech to them... telling them that it will all be ok. That will be bad for a while, but joy will come at the end and they will be happy.

Labor is the hardest thing I've ever done, but at the end, you totally forget the pain and you are so happy to have the little baby. Jesus used that analogy to describe his death. They would be grieved for a time, but they would be happy again some day.

Even in his last moments, he was trying to make them feel better, to comfort them.

(John 16:25-33) “I have spoken of these matters in figures of speech, but soon I will stop speaking figuratively and will tell you plainly all about the Father. 26 Then you will ask in my name. I’m not saying I will ask the Father on your behalf, 27 for the Father himself loves you dearly because you love me and believe that I came from God. 28 Yes, I came from the Father into the world, and now I will leave the world and return to the Father.”
29 Then his disciples said, “At last you are speaking plainly and not figuratively. 30 Now we understand that you know everything, and there’s no need to question you. From this we believe that you came from God.”
31 Jesus asked, “Do you finally believe? 32 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. 33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

And the tears continue...

Everyone abandoned him, but he knew God wouldn't.

When people leave us or we feel totally alone, God is with us. He won't leave us, and he definitely won't abandon us even if we turn our back from him at one time or another. 

In the world is sadness and trials, but Jesus has overcome it all. Trust in Him, and the world can't hurt you... oh, it can TRY! But it won't succeed.

Which would you rather have? An OK supper, nothing bad, nothing great... OR a tasteless supper with the most amazing dessert you ever ate in your life at the end?

Follow the world and you'll only have ok meals... Trust in Jesus and your meal might be bland at times, but your dessert (Heaven) will be worth it all!

I wish I could put into words what this chapter has meant to me today. Just know that I've had tears since I started, happy tears (and some sad). I love to picture Jesus as a regular human like us all-- and he was-- In this chapter he was very much human, very much trying to convince his friends that everything would be alright. He had to have sorrow in his heart (in fact, he prayed about it), but in the end, he cared more about his friends than himself-- the people that would betray him and leave him-- than himself. Can you picture that conversation he had with his disciples? Can you picture how he felt?


I amazes me that someone could love me so much. Does it you?

God Bless You (I know he has me with this chapter :)

**Linked with: Faith Filled Friday

1 comment:

  1. This is a favorite passage of mine. It shows the depth of love He has for the disciples. And the importance of the Spirit. Thanks so much for this!