I Have Overcome
John 16:25-33 ESV
When we consider the change the Cross made not only in the 1st Century but every day since, it’s a little mind boggling.
The cross changed history.
The cross changed how we view God.
The cross changed the movement of the Spirit of God IN us.
The cross changed ME.
The cross changed you.
In the upper room Jesus was trying to give His disciples context and understanding for what was about to happen.
In John 16:25 Jesus told His disciples, “I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father.”
Using figurative language is often done to help readers/hearers see the big picture meaning. Painting a visual picture for a story gives it color and helps us to utilize our imagination. It also helps us to remember what was said.
Jesus was helping His disciples see what they could not yet see.
Jesus promised when the time was right He would speak to them in plain language about the Father.
In the Old Testament, God spoke through prophets, priests, and kings. Because of the cross, the resurrection, and the coming of the Holy Spirit to earth, all men would now have access by their own choice. Jesus made it so people viewed God the Father as accessible.
People make that choice by turning to God and inviting God IN.
Therefore in John 16:26-28 we learn, “In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”
When Jesus said “in that day” He would have been referring to the time period following the resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit after Jesus ascended to heaven. Once the Spirit came to earth to intercede on our behalf God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit (who are one) we understood. We knew we can ask and it will be done through God’s love.
In John 16:29-30, “His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.”
In today’s language someone might say, “Okay, now we’re trackin’. We see You know things because God sent You.”
You can almost hear them give a sigh of relief. At this point we realize how difficult this conversation in John 16 would have been for the disciples. Jesus had been telling them future things they will need to know. Jesus said more than once that they ‘will remember’ His words.
Jesus knew when the time came for them to understand they would see and know the truth.
The response came in John 16:31-32 when “Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.”
Jesus was now talking about His arrest, His trial, and the crucifixion. He was telling them they will scatter but it will be okay because God the Father will be with Him.
Jesus finished the section found in John 16:33 by telling His disciples, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
As difficult and confusing as this conversation would have been for the disciples, Jesus told them because they have been with Him and because they have seen, they will believe and they will have peace.
The conversation Jesus had with His disciples WAS difficult because the words He spoke covered past, present, and future viewpoints.
Through it all Jesus knew even though there will be turmoil in the world, there will be confusion, there will be persecutions and tribulation, they do not need to be afraid because…
Jesus HAS overcome the world!
Today we hold onto that knowledge still. We do not understand persecution, tribulation, and turmoil, but we can take heart in the knowledge that Jesus has overcome everything!
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Relax
Set aside time to be grateful that Jesus has overcome the world!
In God, Deborah