Day 16 – Clair
Summary of Chapter 16
Verses 1 – 4a: Chapter 16 sees Jesus offer words of comfort to the disciples, although they may not have seen it that way initially. He wants His followers to know that they most definitely will face opposition. He doesn’t try to pull the wool over their eyes by painting a rosy picture of the kind of life a true disciple of His would face. He wants them to see that following Him carries a high cost. He is completely honest with them so that their faith in Him would not be shaken when opposition came their way and they would not fall away as a result.
Verses 4b – 24: Jesus goes on to say that He will soon be leaving them. He comments on the fact that not one of them asks Him ‘where are you going?’. Imagine the pause in conversation at this point as the penny finally drops and the disciples realise the enormity of what He is saying. They are no doubt in a state of shock at the prospect of losing their teacher, their shepherd, their friend… after all He’s only 33 years old, surely he still has years ahead of Him, so much more to offer? No wonder they are grieving! They are yet to see that all that Jesus is to go through would be for their own good in the long-run. If He had chosen to remain with them, against His Father’s will, there would have been no sacrifice made for sin and the Advocate would never have come.
The Advocate, the Spirit of truth, the one who cannot lie (unlike Satan who is the father of lies) would be sent in His place in order to illuminate sin, bring revelation and open blind eyes.
The disciples are grieving at the thought of losing Jesus, but Jesus doesn’t leave them in a state of despair. He assures them that their grief will turn to lasting joy. This is a case of short term pain for long term gain.
Jesus gives them words of hope to hold on to in their time of grief – three simple yet wonderfully comforting statements:
- I WILL see you again.
- You WILL rejoice.
- No one WILL take away your joy.
Verses 25 – 33: Jesus knows that a time is coming when each of His disciples would abandon Him in His hour of need. Despite knowing this He doesn’t make it the focus of the conversation, He shows no concern for Himself, but rather for them and for their future. The words of verse 33 are ironic. Jesus says,
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.”
He began the chapter painting a bleak picture of persecution, troubles, and ultimately death, yet we see that He has told them these things not to stir up anxiety but to bring peace to their hearts.
He leaves the disciples with these amazing and reassuring words ringing in their ears… “BUT TAKE HEART! I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD.”
Key thoughts from Chapter 16
- I love the fact that Jesus is selfless. He doesn’t appear to be concerned with His imminent death, but concerned for the future of the disciples. His concern is to ensure that they know what to expect and are be prepared to face whatever comes their way. This got me thinking about my thoughts and words… How often are they only for myself and my future? Do I show concern for the future of the people around me? Food for thought!
- Verse 12 highlights the fact that Jesus was sensitive to where the disciples were at and just how much information they could cope with, they had reached full capacity at this point and so He saves the rest for the Advocate to deal with when He comes. Again my thoughts were drawn to myself… Do I talk too much, bombarding people with information that they’re not ready to hear? I was reminded of the need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading and guiding, which sometimes might mean me keeping my mouth shut and leaving Him to speak and finish the work!
- It is a huge comfort to know that Jesus literally IS truth. The Spirit of truth – The way, the Truth and the Life. Therefore He is 100% trustworthy and so we can and should trust Him implicitly.
Prayers from Chapter 16
Thank you that we know exactly where we stand with You, Jesus. Thank you that every word you spoke and every promise is true for You are truth itself. Thank you for Your selfless sacrifice which secured our salvation and made a way for the Advocate, our Comforter, to come. Thank you for Your sensitivity towards others’ needs; please help us to be sensitive towards the needs of others and to allow Your Spirit to lead and guide us in our conversations. Thank you that You offer true and lasting joy and peace. May we take heart and hold on to this truth no matter what opposition may come our way. Give us courage we pray, that we would not fall away. Help us always to remember that You were not and are not defeated – You are the Winner, the Victor, the Conqueror, and You “have overcome the world”. Thank You Jesus! Amen