Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part IV: Presentation Of The Messenger Of Salvation
D. Christ's Credentials Revealed In His Preparations For The Cross
3. Christ's Credibility Seen In Encouraging His Disciples In VIEW Of His Coming Cross
b. Christ's Encouragement Offsetting His Disciples' Sense Of Failure
(John 13:48; 14:1, 11-14)
  1. Introduction
    1. When Jesus announced He would leave His disciples to where they could not immediately follow Him, Peter was so upset that He pledged to follow Jesus to the death if need be, John 13:33, 37. However, this promise was met by the soberin g, discouraging prediction from Christ that Peter would deny Jesus before the cock crowed the next early morning, John 13:38.
    2. Amidst the discouragement of this prediction and the sense of dread of Jesus' departure, Jesus provided a number of encouragements to His disicples so they could deal with the difficulty of His earthly departure. One of those encourag ements was a promise of great future spiritual productivity that would have offset Peter's sense of failure, and would have shown the value of Jesus' departure at the time. This presentation offers valuable lessons for us in our walk with God today as foll ows:
  2. Christ's Encouragement Offsetting His Disciples' Sense Of Failure, John 13:48; 14:1, 11-14.
    1. The disciples, as epitomized in Peter's interaction with Jesus at the Last Supper, would have felt a sense of personal failure and anxious loss, John 13:33, 37-38:
      1. When Jesus announced He was leaving the disciples for a place they could not then come, Peter became anxious enough to object, offering to follow Jesus to the death, John 13:33, 37.
      2. Christ then announced Peter would deny Him three times before the cock crowed, John 13:38.
      3. Such an interchange would have left the disciples feeling anxious over Jesus' departure and discouraged over news of the personal the denial.
    2. Offsetting this anxiety and sense of failure, Jesus announced that one of the values of His departure to the Father would be to prepare through His death access for these men to produce great works by prayer:
      1. Jesus wanted His disciples to believe in Him because of His miraculous works and words, Jn. 14:11.
      2. Picking up on this idea, He further revealed God's plan to duplicate these works and words in His disciples, and to multiply their impact worldwide for God's glory, John 14:12-13a, 14:
        1. He predicted that those who believed on Jesus would not only do His works, but greater works than these, John 14:12. As Ryrie notes in his John 14:12 footnote, these were "Greater in extent (through the worldwide preaching of the gosp el) and effect (the spiritual redemption and placing in the body of Christ multitudes of people since the day of Pentecost)." (Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, ftn.)
        2. These works would be produced through the power of God supplied to God's servants in answers to their prayers in Christ's name, John 14:13. An example is found in Acts 4:23-37.
        3. Jesus claimed that if they asked anything [within God's will of course, cf. 1 John 5:14-15] in His name, He would do it. Asking these things in Jesus' name would be productive since the Father thereby sought to elevate and glorify t he name of His Son, and prayers in Jesus' name appealed to that glorification of Christ motive of the Father!
      3. This great personal achievement exercise would be possible ONLY because Jesus went to His Father, signifying the need for His death and ascension and heavenly high priesthood ministry as detailed in the book of Hebrews! (John 1 4:12c)
Lesson: Jesus (1) offset the sense of abandonement in His disciples produced by His news of leaving them through showing the VALUE His departure gave in (2) making them overcome their failures!

Application: (1) God has not abandoned us when we even FEEL like it, for all He does works to get us into fellowship and productive living for Him. We must NOT take FEELING abandoned by God as a REALITY gauge that God thus has abandoned us -- just the opposite is true! (2) We become productive in ministry as we seek the glory of Christ by resorting to intercessory prayer in His Name!