Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20000301.htm
JOHN: TRIUMPHING IN LIFE'S MOST CRITICAL ISSUE
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
g. Christ's Equipping His Disciples To Handle The Events Of His Cross Directly
Lesson: As clearly as His PRE-cross situation would allow, Christ articulated His death, resurrection, and events between His resurrection and ascension just before the cross. In doing so, He revealed the passion was all part of God's plan, and th at He was thus the true Messiah who gave His life to fulfill the Father's plan. As such, it builds our faith in Him, giving us peace even if we suffer for His truth!
- If Jesus is the Messiah, and if the true Messiah was to suffer and die unlike the Jews of Jesus' day believed, we should expect Jesus to PREPARE His disciples for that fact in a very clear, extensive way!
- John 16:16-33 reveals a detailed prediction by Christ of His suffering and death as well as the change in relating that would occur between Himself and the disciples following His resurrection. These details reveal Jesus was of God and builds our confidence in the faith even when we suffer for holding to it:
- Christ's Equipping His Disciples To Handle The Events Of His Cross Directly, John 16:16-33.
- Christ clearly said the disciples at first would not see Him, but a little later they would see Him, Jn. 16:16.
- At first this statement appears confusing, for one can take it one of three ways: (B.K.C., N.T., p. 329) (1) Jesus could have meant the coming of the Holy Spirit, or (2) He could have spoke n of His Second Coming to the earth or (3) of his short 40-day ministry between His resurrection and ascension.
- This statement bewildered the twelve as they talked extensively about it among themselves, Jn. 16:17-18.
- Knowing the disciples wanted to ask Him about the statement, but perhaps felt sheepish about doing so, Jesus volunteered their question for them and prepared to answer it, John 16:19.
- He answered it with a clarified prediction of the events of His passion and what would follow it as follows:
- Jesus explained He would depart from the disciples the first time, causing them great sorrow, 16:20a.
- However, following that event their sorrow would be turned into joy like that of a woman in labor who grieves until she bears her child and rejoices at his birth, John 16:20b-22. This speaks of His death and resurrection, and of the sorrow at His death being turned into joy at His resurrection!
- In His resurrection, Christ announced there would be a new intimacy of the disciples with the Father, an intimacy where they as sons of God could talk directly to the Father in prayer to receive His answers of help , John 16:23-24. This speaks of the new relation between the disciples and the Father based upon the cross, something Jesus mentioned in His risen body to Mary Magdalene in John 20:17!
- Jesus said He would then speak to the disciples clearly and not in proverbs, something that occurred between the resurrection and Christ's ascension, cf. Acts 1:3-5, 6-8.
- At this point, the disciples felt they understood Jesus' words, a remarkable feat when He had just said He was currently speaking in proverbs, John 16:29-30 with 16:25a.
- However, Jesus revealed that though the disciples felt they believed in Christ, He stated that they would all be scattered away from following Him, something that happened at His arrest, Jn. 16:32; Mtt. 26:56.
- Nevertheless, Christ stated His words predicting the events to occur at and just after the cross were given so the disciples would have peace in Him, John 16:33. Evidently, He was stating that His careful prediction of these details would later cause the disciples to see His death, resurrection and events leading up to His ascension had all been ordered by God. Thus, He was the true Messiah who didn't have His life taken from Him, but who gave His life. Knowing that fact would build their faith in Christ, giving them peace in Him in spite of His sufferings or their later sufferings for that faith in Him!
Application: (1) We rejoice in the CERTAINTY that Christ is the Messiah because of the precision with which He predicted events even between His death and ascension! (2) This confidence gives us peace even if we suffer for the truths of Christ tod ay, for we know our suffering is not in vain!