"A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me." John 16:16.As Jesus spoke about his impending death to his disciples, there were two responses: the earliest - resentment; later - fear. Jesus' friends didn't understand this sort of destiny. They'd expected another kind of saviour, so their motives in committing themselves to Jesus were not always what they should have been. Peter, not usually backward in putting his thoughts into words, tried to talk Jesus out of such a possibility, thus re-enacting one of Jesus' greatest temptations. Jesus' response was swift and devastating: 'Get behind me, Satan!'
In John 16, Jesus is talking very frankly to his friends about what was soon to happen. There was plenty to be fearful about. They would be persecuted by the Jewish authorities, and even martyred (16:1-4). He was going to leave them - in a world of sin, unrighteousness, and judgment. Like a woman in childbirth, their pain and trauma would be intense (19-22). And in the hour of trial, they would all desert him (32). Their destiny: suffering (33)!
But then follows those hope-producing words: 'I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!'
May I look beyond the immediate circumstances, Lord, and trust you - the one who has overcome the world. Amen.
This article is published courtesy of Rowland Croucher, John Mark Ministries. If you would like to peruse more articles from the pen of Rowland Croucher, visit his website at http://www.pastornet.net.au/jmm.
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