Since John 16 starts with “All this I have told you…” I really need to back up into the last part of 15 to get the whole picture.
15: 18-16:4 Jesus explains to the disciples that if the world hates them, it is because of HIM. They hated HIM to without reason. And ulitmately the reason was because they did not know HIS Father who sent HIM. We are never greater than HE, so we shouldn’t be surprised when this happens. HE gives this warning so the disciples and us do not stray away from HIM when it happens. Constantly remembering what 15:1-17 has instructed, to abide/remain in HIM.
I found this interesting and worth taking a closer look;
John 16:1-4 “All this I have told you so that you will not go astray. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. They will do such things because they do not know the Father or me. I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you. I did not tell you this at first because I was with you.”
All of this did take place for the disciples in their futures, it also is still happening around the world. Believers are being persecuted and killed for thier faith…no other reason, they haven’t found a criminal act for such punishment. Although, in many countries, believing that Jesus died for our sin and rose again and it returning for us…is a crime.
Thinking of Americans…who have yet to face that type of persecution, we still face the wrath of professing believers, who believe they are doing what God wants them to do. Spiritual Abuse is rampant in America. Professing believers, persecuting other believers. I have been extremely distraught over this at times. I was asked to leave a church because of teaching preteens who they are in Christ, and attributes of God. Why? I asked that many times. Now I sit and look at these verses…Just because someone attends church, or is there every time the doors are open, does not make them a Christ Follower. *sigh* I see many people straying away from the faith, due to this activity that is not from God. We have been warned. Just like the disciples…
John 16:33 “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.”
Why so surprised at trouble in the world? Why so surprised when its directed at us? We have been warned…Abiding/remaining in HIM is where peace lies, and its ours. HE has overcome the world! Another phrase of Christ that tells me the battle is won…its over the ending is finalized. Again…we aren’t home yet!
There is much in this chapter about the sending and recieving of the Holy Spirit. Sweet! and through out this week I hope to touch on that. *sigh* this is just one post. Get in the word, read it, pray over it, ask and HE will help you to understand…its not just history, its for YOU. Peace.
(this is the first of many posts on this chapter this week, please go here and read the rest, I am anxious to read them myself! )