Receiving Peace and Victory: John 16:16-33

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Over the past several episodes, we have been focusing in on Jesus’ last opportunity to share with the disciples before being betrayed and arrested. At this point, Judas Iscariot has likely already gathered the mob and soldiers who would arrest Jesus, and there isn’t much time left for Jesus and the remaining disciples to be together.

As Jesus begins to wrap up what He wants to share with His remaining followers, we come to our passage for this episode. This passage is found in John’s gospel, chapter 16, and we will be reading it from the New International Version of the Bible. Starting in verse 16:

16 Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”

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.”

In this conclusion to Jesus’ message to His disciples, we see an interesting miscommunication. Jesus shares that while He has been speaking figuratively, He points forward to a time when He won’t have to use figurative language.

In response, the disciples exclaim that they are happy now that He is speaking clearly and without figures of speech. This response to Jesus is followed up with a statement they likely unanimously make that they now all believe He came from God.

Jesus then responds by challenging them on this very point. If they truly all believed and knew what would happen, then they would not have been surprised or scared when the mob arrived to arrest Jesus. And even if they were surprised, they wouldn’t have abandoned Him.

However, in Jesus’ challenge to His disciples, we see a massive idea within His words that is a promise we can take and apply into our own lives. Verse 32 tells us that Jesus told the disciples: “You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.

This truth is incredibly powerful. Regardless of what our circumstances look like, how we feel, or what Satan tries to tell us to discourage us, when we believe in Jesus, we are never alone. God the Father, and His Holy Spirit are always with us. Even if everyone else has abandoned us, God is still faithful, and His presence matters more than the presence of anyone else.

The reverse is also true. Even when we feel like we have failed God and left Him all alone, He is willing to accept us back when we are ready to come back. All the disciples failed Jesus, and Jesus was willing to accept back all the disciples who were willing to come back. The only disciple who didn’t return was Judas Iscariot, who committed suicide when realizing that He was responsible for Jesus’ death, and his decision could not be undone.

As Jesus wraps up this last message to His followers, He gives all of us a promise. Verse 33 shares this promise, which says: “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.

When we follow Jesus, He does not promise us a life that is trouble free. Our lives might include more trouble because of our decision to follow Him. However, we are to live each day with the peace God gives us, and this peace is built on the truth that Jesus overcame the world. Jesus overcame sin. Jesus overcame death. Jesus promises to include us in His victory when He returns as King!

This promise is one worth celebrating, especially when we look at how sin-filled the world is today!

As we come to the end of another podcast episode, here are the challenges I will leave you with:

Always seek God first and let His Holy Spirit influence your life. Trust that God knows the future; that He knows what will happen; and that through Jesus, He defeated Satan and overcame the world. Let God’s peace guide you through life and draw you to Him.

Also, always be sure to pray and study the Bible for yourself to grow your personal relationship with God. A personal relationship with God is the best way to experience the peace He offers, and it is the best way to experience Jesus’ victory in your own life while sin is still present in this world.

And as I end every set of challenges by saying in one way or another, never stop short of, chicken out of, or drift away from where God wants to lead you to in your life with Him!

Year of the Cross – Episode 31: In the last part of His message to the disciples on the night He was betrayed, Jesus talks about receiving His peace because He overcame the world. Discover why this is important to us living 2,000 years later.

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