BCP Easter 5 John 16:23-33
Jesus is talking to his disciples the night before he is crucified. He has told them that he will be betrayed, crucified, and rise again. That the Holy Spirit will come to help them and their sorrow will turn to joy.
I would like us to consider three points from this passage.
1) We have direct access to God, through Jesus.
Read verses 26f.
Illustrate people who work for firm who have an account at petrol station. Fill up Company Car in their name. The firm pick up the bill.
We can talk to God, unhindered by sin because of the price Jesus has paid for us. In his name refers to relying upon him & what he has done for us, not a magic formula .
This is based upon our loving and trusting Jesus, verse 27. Isn't it wonderful that you and I can talk to God because of what Jesus has done for us. What a privilege. Jesus is not passing a message on to God, pleading with God for us to answer our prayers.
Have you ever been in a situation where you look back in hindsight and say, "I have been so stupid, if only I had realised ...
The disciples were like that. They had not really understood. They did not start to comprehend Jesus words until after the resurrection. They were wise after the event, as many of us tend to be.
2) Jesus saw his chief resource as God the Father. He did not trust in the words of his disciples. He was sceptical about his disciples rash words that did not mean a lot. Read verses 31f.
I am not saying that we should be wary about everything that people say. But we will let people and God down, and so will others. Therefore, we should trust in God. Who can change us and other people. Who can do more than we can ask or imagine.
Public opinion can be fickle, unpredictable, and hurtful. Jesus was top of the opinion polls on Palm Sunday, yet voted out in favour of Barabas four days later.
Even when we feel deserted and rejected by people God will always be with us. You are not alone, for God is with you. Always.
3) Jesus brings us peace and victory in and over a hostile world. Read verse 33.
The next few days are going to be tumultuous for the disciples. Their leader will be betrayed, crucified, their hopes dashed, they will be afraid, return to their former homes and jobs.
Jesus says "in me you may have peace". What a contrast !
As followers of Jesus we cannot be expected to be treated better than he was. We will be ridiculed and be rejected when we follow his ways.
If we are in Jesus, united with him then we can be calm and confident in God's purposes. We are to persevere trusting in God's plan and sovereignty. cf. Romans 8:28.
Despite the opposition we will never be alone. We know we can trust Jesus who has conquered the world. He has overcome it. Rendered it powerless through his death and resurrection.
We may be going through a difficult time. As an individual, family, church.
God says, "You can talk to me because of Jesus."
God says, "Rely on me, I will never leave you."
God says, "Have confidence in me, those things that cause you problems are powerless before me. Receive my peace."