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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

IN JESUS WE MIGHT HAVE PEACE

John 16:29-33 His disciples said unto Him, Lo, now speakest Thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. Now are we sure that Thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask Thee: by this we believe that Thou camest forth from God. Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe? Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave Me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

We know that perfect knowledge about God's plan of forgiveness of sins and the hope of eternal salvation through Jesus Christ, was not made clear to the apostles until the Holy Spirit descended on them on the Day of Pentecost. Yet, the first verse of the lesson text leads us to believe that certain misunderstandings seems to have been made clear by Jesus' statement in verse 28. There, He told them, I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. This seems to have answered the question they raised in verse 17 about the statement Jesus made in the previous verse, in which He told them, A little while, and ye shall not see Me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see Me, because I go to the Father (Vs. 16). Now the apostles seem to be satisfied that when Jesus leaves them, He will be returning to His Heavenly Father, who had originally sent Him to live among mankind on earth. Therefore, His disciples said unto Him, Lo, now speakest Thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.

In verse 27 Jesus is assured that His apostles, because of their love for Him, believed He was the Son of God sent to earth to carry out His spiritual mission. Now we have the apostles' confession of that belief when they said, Now are we sure that Thou knowest all things. As the Son of God, they were convinced that His all-knowing, godly wisdom was the same as that of His Heavenly Father. Having this omniscient power, Jesus knew the doubts and misunderstandings that still remained in their minds. He didn't need the disciples to ask Him for anything; He knew their need for a better understanding without them having to ask for it. They knew Jesus possessed the miraculous ability to know their minds, and because of this, they made this further confession: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.

This was an answer that would remove any doubt from the minds of all men and women of the world. Who could possibly question the sincerity of these apostles when they assured Jesus that they firmly believed Him to be the Messiah sent forth from God? However, Jesus doubted the genuineness of their faith in Him. Doubtful of their reply, Jesus asked them, Do ye now believe? With His ability to see into their hearts and know what the future held, He was sure that their faith would soon be shaken and disappear in the times of trials they were about to face. He knew that before the day dawned, their faith in Him would vanish; they would flee from His presence, and completely abandon Him. He assured them of their failing faith with this prophetic statement: Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave Me alone. Jesus knew that if they saw, or even heard of His death by crucifixion, they would believe that His mission on earth had failed, He would have been defeated, and the Jewish spiritual leaders would have won. In this dejected state, Jesus knew His apostles would flee to a safe abode and forsake Him.

Jesus further tells them that, although they would desert Him, He would not be alone, because the Father is with Me. At the time of His greatest anguish on earth; at the time when He was about to die on the cross of Calvary, His extreme pain and suffering resulted in this human utterance: My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34)? Yet, His spiritual being, as the only Son of God, knew that His Heavenly Father would never abandon Him. We know this to be true because immediately before He died, He said this to His Father in heaven: into Thy hands I commend My spirit (Luke 23:46b). Jesus closed with these words of comfort: These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. Jesus assured them that in Him, and serving His cause, they would find peace. Like Him, they must endure much persecution. As Jesus overcame the evils of this world by His resurrection, so they also would overcome.