John 16-20; if we look at the Gospel of John with all the events that have happened in the last week of Christ’s life, one would think what a tragedy. However, Jesus continued to preach and teach his disciples. There were many things that He wanted to tell them before the events actually happened. Even then there were many things that the disciples just couldn’t comprehend. The 40 days of walking with them after the Resurrection seem to be reserved for those additional teachings. When we look specifically at chapters 16-17 we find a very compassionate Jesus that is trying to convey to His disciples what is coming, yet also try to calm and encourage them. The presence of a Helper in their lives would be the key – It is for your good that I go away, now no one in that room would have thought that to be true. While Jesus was physically with them; there was always a limit,; but in the Holy Spirit being IN them, means that God’s presence is always with us. No separation. Jesus repeatedly tells them, I am going away, but I will return. He speaks that they will have great sorrow and grief, and that the world will rejoice, but the tables will be turned and their sorrow will be replaced with unspeakable, enduring joy.
I found it interesting that the world/religious leaders would attack Christians, then remembered the attacks that are being conducted now by ISIS of Christians in the Middle East. Jesus warns that persecution will come, but we have become victorious in Him. This seems so contrary to what most believers believe; we think that life will be carefree and trouble-free if we have Jesus in our lives – the opposite is true. For before we were in the World and the World didn’t worry about us; but now that we are Light shining in Darkness, they are offended and want to eliminate the Truth and conviction that the Holy Spirit brings through our living for Jesus.
In John 17, two comments seem to dominate
I have glorified you
That they may know you sent Me Jesus reiterates that He has only spoken and done that which the Father asked Him; now he includes the disciples, those that have been given to Him by the Father; these have believed that Jesus came from the Father and have believed in His words. The prayer is for their continued “keeping” as Jesus kept them through His shepherding. I thought about how many times that Jesus says I have kept all that you have given Me – meaning he lost none that the Father gave. Jesus didn’t receive from the Father the multitudes, He received the few – 12 men. It is through these 12 men that the Gospel would find its greatest propagation. Even today we find that the “anointing of God” seems to be on the few, not the many. As the disciples were found faithful, even in persecution and loss of life, even so we must be today!As the Father was in Jesus, Jesus is in us – so we to must be IN the world. It’s about extending the Presence of the Father. Jesus obeyed the Father which resulted in great glory, we being obedient to Jesus brings great glory to both the Father and the Son, specifically our obedience to Jesus reflects that we believe that He came from the Father – so our faith is in both the Father and the Son, which is reaffirmed in our human spirit with the Holy Spirit. From the prayer we quickly are caught up in the betrayal of Jesus by Judas. Just as a note, 600 soldiers came out to get Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane! Talk about over kill. Jesus submits to their authority; yet is resistant. He makes them expose themselves and their obvious demonic plan. I found John 17:4 interesting, for Jesus has not gone to the Cross, I have always felt that was the “glorifying work of Jesus”; so how could Jesus have finished or accomplished the work He was given to do if He hasn’t died yet? While Jesus was to be the Savior; Jesus was sent to reveal the father in the flesh. As Jesus said, He who has seen me has seen the Father. He accomplished that; now it was time; since He is the Son of God – called by man, to die as Savior. The mock trials and all the scheming of the religious leaders is appalling, especially since the great Passover feast is pending. Jesus was surely to die the “lamb of God” death for the sins of mankind, but woe to them who hands are blood stained because of their rejection of The Christ!The Week ends with what seems to be a victory for evil and Satan; oh but just when Satan thinks he has defeated God; God will have the last say – let that be a word for you in your life! It’s not over until God says its over.