Promises Part Two
John 14:25-31 ESV
John 14:8-9 (Philip and Jesus)
Matthew 20 (James and John)
I’ve read this scripture many times but I think for the first time ever I realized how difficult it would have been for Jesus to say these words to them. He was giving them His final messages. He was pouring Himself out for them.
Jesus knew how difficult their next days would be and He loved them.
He really loved them.
In John 14:25-26 Jesus told His beloved disciples, “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”
He wanted them to know the Holy Spirit would be there for them.
Jesus knew He needed to fill them with HOPE.
But He also knew what they were actually capable of doing.
He knew Peter was a fly off the handle kind of guy. Peter was impulsive. He was all about faith one minute and all about glory the next.
Andrew, Peter’s brother led Peter to Jesus then took a back-seat to his outspoken brother.
James and John were well known as the Sons of Thunder. Both were known for their boldness (see Matthew 20).
Little is known about Philip and Nathaniel except after Philip met Jesus he went to get Nathaniel so he could follow as well. In John 14:8-9 Philip asked Jesus to show them the Father and Jesus was shocked that Philip didn’t really know Him.
Matthew had been a dishonest Tax Collector before he followed Jesus.
Thomas became known as doubting Thomas because he refused to believe Jesus was raised from the dead until he saw Jesus.
James ‘the less’ seemed to be quiet and obscure. He wasn’t one to speak up.
Simon was known as a ‘the Zealot’ which was a political Jewish party that aggressively opposed Roman rule (https://www.gotquestions.org/Zealots-Bible.html).
Thaddeus was also known as Jude and Lebbaeus which was a name that meant courageous heart. It is believed he preached in many regions after the Ascension of Christ (https://www.learnreligions.com/thaddeus-the-apostle-with-four-names-701072).
Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
Jesus had spent three years traveling with these twelve men. He knew them and He knew what they were capable of accomplishing.
Jesus knew who would betray Him and He knew who His remaining 11 disciples would become after the resurrection.
In Jesus’ last private words to His disciples He promised them even though everything was about to change, it would be alright. He told His beloved companions in John 14:27-29, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe.”
Put yourself in the room with Jesus and His disciples.
Hear Jesus speak the promise of peace.
Feel His plea that they will trust Him and will not be troubled or afraid.
He had already told them He would be leaving them, and He wanted them to be filled with joy for Him because He was going to the Father. Jesus was pleading with them…if you love me you will be happy for me.
But, Jesus also knew the separation for them would be the most difficult thing they had ever faced. He knew each man would have to come to terms with who they will be.
This would be their defining moment.
How they would respond when Jesus was no longer with them would determine their future.
In that moment as He looked into their eyes Jesus had to tell them He was letting them go.
In John 14:30-31 Jesus told them, “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.”
Even though Jesus told His disciples what was about to happen, it’s not clear that the disciples fully comprehended what was happening.
Notice that in the Gospel of John we only have an account of what Jesus said. We do not know if the disciples were talking quietly in groups.
We do not know how the disciples reacted.
We have to wonder if the disciples were afraid and did their fear show on their faces?
We’re they holding onto each other?
We know that Peter and his brother Andrew grew up in the Zebedee household with James and John. Were they sitting together so they could draw strength from each other?
Every disciple walked away from their life (their families, and their trade/job) to follow Jesus.
After being with Jesus day and night for three years He was now telling them He wouldn’t talk much with them again.
Were they wondering why? Also, they had to wonder would happen to them now.
Were they wondering if they were supposed to leave to go back to their previous professions?
We do not have an account of what they thought, but based on Jesus’ conversation with them, we know Jesus wanted them to have peace. Jesus knew they would be confused and unsure of their future. We know He told them not to be afraid because of the uncertainty they were about to face.
Because Jesus and God the Father are one, we know Jesus knew what they understood and what they didn’t understand.
Even in Jesus’ last hours, He was thinking about them. Jesus was facing arrest, being brutally beaten, and crucified and yet He was thinking about His beloved disciples.
Jesus left them with promises and He knew when the time came He would forgive them for what they were about to do. He knew Peter would deny him. He knew many of them would scatter and hide.
Selflessly, He loved them and He gave them support in His last hours with them.
It’s no different today for us today because Jesus knows what we will face tomorrow and He supports us and prepares us. He knows we are capable of failure and He forgives us.
Whatever we face, Jesus stands by us and will never fail us.
Jesus will forgive us…of that we can be sure.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Jesus knows
Jesus knows what we face today and tomorrow…lean on Jesus. Know that Jesus loves and forgives you. Jesus forgives you. Forgive yourself.
In God, Deborah