As we have walked together through the sixteenth chapter of John’s gospel, we’ve had front-row seats to the final conversation Jesus would have with his disciples prior to the crucifixion. Though we will be blessed to hear a prayer he offers up on their behalf, this chapter is the end of a long back-and-forth we’ve been reading through, full of questions we’ve made our own.
In A Time is Coming, Jesus starts us off with the reminder that times of trial will come for us, as they came for Christ. He’s warned us, just as he did his followers so long ago. We shouldn’t forget it.
The disciples didn’t want to hear such things, and I can honestly say I don’t either, so I’m grateful in the encouragement he gave us in the next words we read in Three Areas of Conviction. He reminds us that his leaving made way for the arrival of the Holy Spirit. Not only would the Spirit be with us, but he would move to convict the world and bring ultimate judgment.
Jesus showed us he understands our struggles, as we saw in the verses shared in The Guide to Truth. He refers to the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of truth, because he will not only guide us to truth, but reveal to us the truth of all Christ has said. In this, he brings glory to Christ, and gives us confidence to trust in him alone.
In Hush, and I’ll Tell You, we witness the patience and humor of Christ. The disciples just weren’t understanding, as we so many times don’t, but they couldn’t be quiet long enough to find the answer. Jesus, in his gentle, loving way, tells them all will be made clear if they could just be quiet and listen. Oh, what a great lesson for us as well.
The verses studied in The Day Prayer Changed are some of my favorites of Christ’s words to his disciples, as they show us the moment he reveals how prayer will be forever different. In Christ, as we pray in his name, we gain direct access to the Father. What a wonderful reminder to never take the privilege of prayer for granted.
Everything comes to a head, as the disciples finally seem to get it in the final verses we read in Understanding and Peace. The light comes on, and they finally get that Jesus came from God to enter the world for a specific amount of time and must now go back to the Father. Yet in his departure, he will not leave them alone. They will soon see that he will accomplish all he came to do, leaving them as his Spirit-filled witnesses.
The more I dwell in the words of Jesus in this precious gospel, the more I’m encouraged to live for him despite the troubles of this world today. I hope you are too. Read back through his words in John 16, as we prepare next to let him pray over, not only his disciples, but us as well.
Grace and Peace
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*New Addition: In preparation for a devotional I’m writing, entitled, Living by the Highlights, I am sharing quotes from the many books that have impacted my life. Feel free to meditate on the thoughts shared, and share to your social media as you feel led. Carol