John 16:1-4 ESV
Acts 9:4-6 ESV
Romans 8:28 ESV
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
I get the sense that when Jesus spoke the words found in John 16:1-4 to His disciples in the upper room, they were thinking, ‘what is He talking about?’
While Jesus had never been popular with the ruling Hebrew class, He WAS Hebrew.
Jesus was born of the tribe of Judah. King David and King Solomon were from the tribe of Judah. How is it that His followers will be put out of the synagogues? He was OF the tribe of Judah.
What could possibly happen to cause the separation between the Jews and Jesus and His followers to be so deep and wide?
Still, in John 16:1-4 Jesus said to Hid disciples, “I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.”
Have you ever been in a situation when something happens and suddenly your life is forever changed?
In an instant, everything changed.
That’s what was about to happen to Jesus’ disciples.
Jesus knew the disciples were about to face that moment when everything would change.
The disciples were clueless. They had no idea what was about to happen. In the moments before, Jesus poured out on them everything He could to prepare them so they would not fall away.
Jesus knew they would be ostracized from everything they had known.
They were about to begin a new chapter. But before that chapter much would happen that would be terrifying to the disciples.
So, let’s go back to your moment when suddenly your life changed forever. Once that moment came you would have been in despair. Your feelings of sorrow and pain overshadowed everything else in your life. The feeling was so BIG and frightening that you were not able to even think about the good that would come about because of the change.
Indeed when my moment came I didn’t think life would ever be okay again.
Jesus knew that’s what His disciples would feel.
Saul of Tarsus had his moment as well. He was a Pharisee, educated under the most respected Hebrew Pharisee Gamaliel. He was determined to seek and kill the followers of the man Jesus who had been crucified by the Romans. After the crucifixion word spread that Jesus came back to life…but then He left again.
Saul didn’t see Jesus and he believed the whole story to be preposterous! How can a man who was crucified and confirmed dead, return?
As a result of the story that was circulating, Saul was determined to imprison and kill every follower of Jesus of Nazareth. That was His mission in life.
One day while Saul was on the Damascus Road, a bright light blinded him and he heard a voice saying, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do” (Acts 9:4-6).
In an instant everything changed for Saul. He changed so much that his name was changed to Paul (because names mean something). In that instant Saul lost the life he’d known. Everything he had worked for was gone.
See, many did persecute the people of ‘Way’ as the followers of Jesus were called. Saul persecuted them. Saul helped make it so they were not accepted in the Synagogues. Saul thought by killing the people of the ‘Way’ he was doing a service to God.
But after Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus he became a new man. Saul did not really know God who was the Father of Jesus the Son. Saul had studied the History of the Hebrew people all his life but he didn’t personally know God.
When Jesus told His disciples in John 16:4, “I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you,” He knew they would remember The words He spoke to them in the upper room before He was arrested.
The words Paul wrote to the church in Rome were words he had lived. When Saul lost his life on the Road to Damascus that day, nothing was ever the same for him. In Romans 8:28, he wrote, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
All things work together for good to those who love God.
After Saul’s conversion and the loss of his former life, he became Paul an Apostle of Jesus Christ. He lost his life but he was re-born to be a new creation. In 2 Corinthians 5:17, Paul the Apostle wrote, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
Every disciple in the upper room with Jesus when He spoke the words from John 16 was about to lose their life. Everything they had known was about to change. Everyone was in danger of falling away. They were not welcome in the synagogues. Those who sought to kill them believed they were doing it for God. They didn’t know the truth.
The good news, the really good news is that they did remember Jesus’ words He spoke in the upper room.
Everything Jesus told them was true.
Their lives did change.
And oh my, what a marvelous change it was!
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: You
Ask Jesus what He HAS for you today. Sit in silence and wait for the answer to come.
In God, Deborah
It really is acrazyjourney.com with Jesus