Dear Faithful Follower,
I spoke the words you will read in the verses below before I went to the cross. I planted them like seeds into the hearts of My closest followers. Later, when the time was right, the Spirit of truth would help them remember all that had transpired and all that I had told them. I shared these messages on My last evening with them before My arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. They were some of My last words before dying. These words were spoken to those who were precious to Me. I hope that you will let these words be a blessing to you.
I want you to notice several things that you will find in these words.
First, I acknowledged that the world is a tough place. I shared these words so My followers could find true shalom
. I wanted them to have more than just peace; I wanted them to know that they could be whole and unafraid of the future even without My physical presence. I was about to overcome the powers — "the corrupt world order"
— that had marred and broken the created universe. My victory over sin and death through My resurrection brought victory over death to My disciples. Coupled with My words of encouragement, My disciples could be reassured and find My peace. I trust My words will give you peace as well.
Second, I promised to send the Spirit to My disciples. Rather than My physical absence being a loss, it was My disciples' gain. I gave them My promises before I returned to the Father:
- Promise one
I would send the Spirit to be with them and in them and to give them everything they needed from Me.
- Promise two
When I had ascended to the Father, I would present My disciples' requests to Him. They could rest assured that their prayers would be heard.
Third, I laid out the plan for the days ahead.
- I would go away — in death on the cross — and they would be scattered and forsake Me, but the Father would not forsake Me.
- I would come back — I would be raised from the dead to be with them again to help them understand Who I AM and why I had come to earth.
- I would return to the Father — I would ascend — but I would continue to be with them through the sending of the Holy Spirit. Their first experience of the Spirit would be something that would happen in a small group and in a private way with My first appearance to them (John 20:19-22). Then there would be a huge experience of the coming of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-41).
My closest followers experienced so many things in just fifty days after My resurrection. I wanted them to have My promises to look back upon as seeds of hope and assurance for their future. While you live thousands of years later, these promises are true for you, too (Acts 2:38-41)
As you read these words, please ask for My help. I will empower you and fill you with the Spirit. The Spirit will lead you and guide you in what you read.
But now, I am going to the One Who has sent Me, and none of you ask Me, "Where are You going?"
Some of His Disciples:
I know that hearing news like this is overwhelming and sad. But the truth is that My departure will be a gift that will serve you well, because if I don't leave, the great Helper will not come to your aid. When I leave, I will send Him to you. When He arrives, He will uncover the sins of the world, expose unbelief as sin, and allow all to see their sins in the light of righteousness for the first time. This new awareness of righteousness is important because I am going to the Father and will no longer be present with you. The Spirit will also carry My judgment because the one who rules in this world has already been defeated.
I have so much more to say, but you cannot absorb it right now. The Spirit of truth will come and guide you in all truth. He will not speak His own words to you; He will speak what He hears, revealing to you the things to come and bringing glory to Me. The Spirit has unlimited access to Me, to all that I possess and know, just as everything the Father has is Mine. That is the reason I am confident He will care for My own and reveal the path to you. For a little while you will not see Me; but after that, a time will come when you will see Me again.
What does He mean? "I'll be here, and then I won't be here, because I'll be with the Father"?Other Disciples:
What is He saying? "A little while"? We don't understand.Jesus knew they had questions to ask of Him, so He approached them.
Are you trying to figure out what I mean when I say you will see Me in a little while? I tell you the truth, a time is approaching when you will weep and mourn while the world is celebrating. You will grieve, but that grief will give birth to great joy. In the same way that a woman labors in great pain during childbirth only to forget the intensity of the pain when she holds her child, when I return, your labored grief will also change into a joy that cannot be stolen.
When all this transpires, you will finally have the answers you have been seeking. I tell you the truth, anything you ask of the Father in My name, He will give to you. Until this moment, you have not sought after anything in My name. Ask and you will receive so that you will be filled with joy.
I have been teaching you all of these truths through stories and metaphors, but the time is coming for Me to speak openly and directly of the Father.
The day is coming when you will make a request in My name, but I will not represent you before the Father. You will be heard directly by the Father. The Father loves you because you love Me and know that I come from the Father. I came from the Father into the cosmos, but soon I will leave it and return to the Father.
We hear You speaking clearly and not in metaphors. How could we misunderstand? We see now that You are aware of everything and You reveal things at the proper time. So we do not need to question You, because we believe You have come from God.Jesus:
So you believe now? Be aware that a time is coming when you will be scattered like seeds. You will return to your own way, and I will be left alone. But I will not be alone, because the Father will be with Me. I have told you these things so that you will be whole and at peace. In this world, you will be plagued with times of trouble, but you need not fear; I have triumphed over this corrupt world order.(John 16:5-33)
Father in heaven, I need the peace and wholeness that Jesus promises in today's Scripture. I know that this peace and wholeness come from the work of the Holy Spirit, so I ask for the tender mercies, the abiding presence, and the strong power of the Spirit to be at work on me and within me. I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.