Bible Reading Day 159
Day 159: John 16:16-33
Today we read the second half of John 16. This is the fourth of five chapters that record the final teaching, instruction and prayers of Jesus with His close friends, the apostles, before He is arrested, condemned, and killed. Today’s passage is part of the teaching that takes place after the group has left the Upper Room at night, on the way to the Garden of Gethsemane. Tomorrow we will read the prayers Jesus prayed in the Garden, but today we have the final teachings of Jesus. This makes today’s reading very significant for us – these are the truths that Jesus considers most important!
First Jesus gives them the clearest explanation yet about the next few days: the disciples will not see Jesus (because first He will be taken into captivity, then killed). They will mourn while the world rejoices (all that is anti-God will think God’s most powerful agent has been finally eliminated). And then the disciples will see Jesus again, and their joy will be abundant, even unshakeable!
Next (verses 23-27) Jesus sets out the new level of relationship the believers will have with the Father. This will be direct access to God; a concept which is almost unthinkable to a Jew. You can ask whatever you want, and the Father will do it because He loves you. This shows us that the disciples had made the transition from religion (the priest knows little or nothing about me, but goes to God for me) to discipleship (I’m following someone who knows me well, and they go to God for me). But they had not yet realized the truth of their position as friends of God. Now they have direct access to the love and response of God to their needs and concerns.
Finally Jesus reminds them of the troubles which are even now about to break over them, but reassures them “I have overcome the world.” Notice that Jesus says this before the crucifixion. His overcoming is a heart-level commitment that has not changed since He agreed to become a human being. It starts at the incarnation, and never ends. He overcame the world at every point of His life, because He obeyed the Father.
Two questions for us to ponder this morning:
How aware am I that I have direct access to the Father, and that He loves me dearly because I love Jesus?
What troubles do I face, and in what way has Jesus already overcome them?
Have a great day!