Reading through the Bible together
Jesus was leaving! The disciples were terrified. His presence brought them peace, and He promised more (John 14:27). Being with Him was their first priority (Mark 3:14), and knowing Him so they could do the works of God was also at the top of their list (John 6:28,29). Then He announces, “the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God” (16:2). He also said: “Now I am going to Him who sent me” (16:5a). Imagine the disciples frustration and confusion! He will leave while they have to stay and be killed?
Jesus lays down the next phase of the plan to send an “Advocate,” or a “Comforter.” The Greek work, Parakletos, means “one who comes alongside.” And this is supposed to be for the disciples good (16:7). Are they convinced, yet? Jesus says, “I have much more to say to you, more than you can bear now” (16:12). Hold on, Jesus! You just said people are going to try and kill us in the name of God and You aren’t staying with us? What must the disciples have been feeling in that moment?
We have those moments, don’t we? Frustration and confusion about GOD’s plans can be exhausting. How do you cope? Does your faith weaken or do you hold onto Jesus stronger than ever? If we practice faith in the small challenges of life, He prepares us for the bigger trials that come our way. What trial is before you right now? Are you holding on to Jesus tightly? The Holy Spirit is with you, if you ask. The Father will give them whatever they ask in Jesus’ name. Jesus says, “Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete” (16:23b-24).
Jesus predicts they will scatter, but says, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But I have overcome the world.” Having any trouble? Take heart, receive peace, be Spirit anointed, and hold on to Jesus, for He has overcome this world!
Christopher Bullock, M.Div.
Pastor in Atlanta, Georgia
North American Division