Friday, August 23, 2019

2019.08.23 Hopewell @Home ▫ John 16:16-33

Questions for Littles: What will happen after a little while (John 16:16)? What will happen after another little while? Why? Who have a hard time understanding this (John 16:17-19)? What will they be doing when they don’t see Him (John 16:20)? What will the world be doing? But what will happen to their sorrow? What illustration does Jesus give, in John 16:21, of sorrow being turned into joy? When will the disciples’ hearts rejoice (John 16:22)? For how long? Whom does He say they will ask to have their joy full (John 16:23-24)? What will happen when they ask? How has Jesus spoken to them just now about the cross and resurrection (John 16:25, cf. John 16:21)? When He speaks to them more plainly, about Whom will He speak? What will they do in that day (John 16:25-26)? Who loves them directly (John 16:27)? How can they know that? From where did Jesus come (John 16:28)? Where is Jesus going? What do the disciples say in John 16:29? What have they concluded (John 16:30)? What is the implied answer to Jesus’s question in John 16:31? What does He say that they will do (John 16:32)? Who will still be with Him? In Whom does Jesus want them to have peace (John 16:33)? What will He have done to give them this peace?
The greatest trouble and sorrow a disciple of Jesus could have would be to be cut off from Christ. And indeed this is the sorrow of that “little while” during which the disciples would not see Christ. But Christ tells them in advance that He has overcome, and that it would only be a little while, and that they would see Him, and that they would have everlasting joy.

This is a seeing more of faith than of the eyes, because the implication of John 16:22 is that they will keep seeing Him, even when He has returned to the Father. This note of the joy of seeing Jesus by faith helps us understand what John 16:24 is talking about them asking and receiving. They joy that will be full at the end of verse 24 is the same joy described in verse 22. It is ever the prayer of a Christian to have increased faith to see Jesus more clearly and rejoice in Jesus more fully. “We believe—help our unbelief!”

And as we ask, we will know how much the Father loves us (John 16:27). Only the Father’s love could produce our loving Jesus. Only the Father’s love could produce faith that the Man Jesus is God the Son from all eternity. Wonderfully, the disciples (who are not getting that Jesus is talking about His crucifixion and resurrection) immediately show this proof of the Father having loved them: they confess that Jesus is God.

Certainly, it is proof not of their wisdom or goodness, but of the Father’s love. For, they still do not understand or believe all that Jesus is talking about (John 16:31). And when the time for crucifixion comes, they will indeed abandon Him (John 16:32). This is why it must be in Jesus alone that we have peace (John 16:33)—He is the One who must overcome. And so it always is with our lives: in the world we have trouble, and in ourselves we have trouble, but in Jesus we have peace, because He has overcome.

At what cost? At the cost of losing the one constant and remaining comfort to which He refers in John 16:32: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Answer: for our peace!
When do you pray to know Jesus better? How do you look to Him for peace?
Suggested songs: ARP46 “God Is Our Refuge” or TPH476 “It Is Well with My Soul”

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