Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022 - John 16:16-33
Throughout most of Jesus’ ministry he shares his messages in parables and what often feels like riddles. Even as readers a couple thousand years later, or perhaps especially as readers a couple thousand years later, these words can often be very confusing. We get many of his words recorded and bound together in the Bible, but the disciples did not have that. And the people that he came across on his journeys would likely only have a story or two, which was likely through numerous people. It is like playing a bad game of telephone. All these messages would be jumbled and confusing.
So this moment when Jesus says “I will tell you plainly...” it is a big deal! Finally, Jesus is going to say something that we can understand! Now what he says is probably not as easy to understand as the disciples would hope anyway. Look at the first line of this passage. “In a little while you won’t see me anymore. But a little while after that, you will see me again.” So is Jesus going on some sort of vacation? How long is a little while? The disciples struggled with this too. And then what he shares is that there will be great sadness and then great joy. But why?
These poor disciples have been through a lot, and if I were in their shoes I would be lost, and probably would have left this guy long ago, but instead, they have faith. They clearly don’t understand it all, but they believe, and they will continue to follow.
What we need to understand is that the joy that Jesus speaks of in verse 20 is the truest joy we could ever know. This is the joy of the resurrection. Through all of the parables and the confusion, Jesus teaches us all kinds of things, but here, Jesus wants to be sure we understand that there will be nothing to rejoice over more than the resurrected Lord. That is the joy we take and share with the world. Let us speak that truth plainly to all. Praise God for that!
Questions for reflection:
- When was the last time that you shared your faith with someone? What makes that difficult?
- Is there anyone who has opened the door for you to share?