Lesson 95

The Gospel of John

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

16:29 His disciples said to him, "Behold, now you speak plainly, and speak no figures of speech. 16:30 Now we know that you know all things, and don't need for anyone to question you. By this we believe that you came forth from God."

16:31 Jesus answered them, "Do you now believe? 16:32 Behold, the time comes, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, everyone to his own place, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. 16:33 I have told you these things, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have oppression; but cheer up! I have overcome the world."

 Today's Lesson 

Today's Scripture brings to an end the Upper Room discourses. Chapter 17 is an extended prayer that is beautifully poetic. This section closes with a statement of faith and a final word for the disciples. Jesus has told them many things during their evening's discussion. He has explained to them as best He could that He would soon be leaving them. He has told them that although He would be gone for a while, He would return to them. He has told them that after He departs, another Counselor will come to them, the Spirit of Truth. And, He has told them that God will come and make His place with them.


This section begins with the disciples expressing their faith in Jesus. The author does not tell us that a specific disciple said these things, but leaves the impression that this statement expresses the beliefs of all of them. The statement culminates with belief that Jesus has indeed come forth from God.


That Jesus was sent from God is an essential part of the story of this Gospel. If Jesus is sent from God then His message and His action take on the greatest significance. That is the conclusion that His disciples finally came to believe. Each of us must decide whether we believe that this is true as well. If Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ sent from God, then this decision will shape the rest of our lives.


For these disciples, this decision marked the end of their earthly relationship to Jesus and the beginning of a new, spiritual relationship. He tells them that they will soon be scattered. They will flee and by every standard of the world, Jesus will be alone to face His enemies. But, they need have no fear. He will not be alone, because the Father did send Him. And, the Father will be with Him to the end.


And, He told them one last thing. He said that He had told them these things so that they might have peace in Him. When their sorrow turned to joy, they would enter into the peace of Christ. Even though they would be oppressed and there would be many trials to face, they need not fear. Despite whatever difficulty they may face, they can always know that Jesus has overcome all trials and sorrows. Jesus has overcome suffering and death. He has overcome loneliness and sorrow. Jesus has overcome anything that they might have to face in the future.


This one thought can be a great insight for Christians as we face the world. Whatever comes our way in the sense of challenges and difficulties, the life of Christ that is with us has overcome it already. We can face this life without fear or apprehension because our hope for the future is guaranteed by what Jesus has already accomplished.


When God raised Jesus from the dead and set Him at His right hand, He was validating everything that Jesus had said and done. God was showing that the good news that Jesus proclaimed was real and open to all that would believe in His name. When Christ proclaimed the love of God and the grace of God, it was a message that the Father had sent Him to deliver. And all who hear and embrace that message may participate in His inheritance.


In Christ, there is peace. We are no more at odds with God or with ourselves. If we are in Christ, God has reconciled Himself to everything we have done in the past or will do in the future. In Christ, we are a new creation. We are able to serve God as we were created to serve Him. We are able to draw near to Him as only a child may approach his father.


Is there anything that you need of God? Is there anything that your heart is truly longing for? Do not be afraid to bring it before Him. But remember that our greatest blessing and brightest hope is the very presence of God Himself in our lives. Embrace God, and realize the power of His life in you!


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