John 16:17-33 (NIV)
17 At this, some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little, while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 18 They kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he is saying.” 19 Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’? 20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come, but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. 23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. 25 “Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.” 29 Then Jesus’ disciples said, “Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. 30 Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.” 31 “Do you now believe?” Jesus replied. 32 “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. 33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Do you think the disciples truly grasp what Jesus says in verse 28? Why?
Precious Lord, You are the Savior of the world! You came to this earth to sacrifice Yourself for all who have faith in You. You are the promised Messiah and the King of kings. The disciples were men who walked with you. They saw Your awesome healing, shared Your love, and listened to Your stories first hand. They were excited by the crowds, the miracles, and the victory in a worldly kingdom. But Your ways are not man’s ways, being a worldly king was not Your plan. You revealed Your plan of salvation to them, but that didn’t jive with their perceptions so they couldn’t comprehend Your words of suffering, death, and resurrection. When it came to fruition, they abandoned You, denied You, and were fearful. We are no different today. Often we see what we want to see and listen to what we want to hear. You may give us signs or speak to our hearts but we struggle to comprehend, especially if it doesn’t match our perceptions and opinions. Today there is evil, suffering, rampant sin in this world and we are grieving. Forgive me Lord, when I don’t trust You as You work out Your plan right now. Help me to not betray, deny or abandon You, but rather believe that You can make beauty out of ashes. Allow me to believe that You are very present in my life and in this world right now. I submit to Your will. Help me to see Your awesome healing and share Your love with those who are hurting. Encourage me and give me strength as I spend time with You. Fill me with the faith to trust You no matter what I see with my eyes. Instead of cowering in fear, inspire me to act upon what You put in my heart. Allow me to hear Your voice in the midst of the chaos so that I can follow and respond in ways that support and encourage others to believe in You. I pray that You will find me faithful. Lord, I wait for Your plan to unfold where I can rejoice in Your victory. Amen