John 16

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Vs 1-4   Jesus often tells us in advance what is going to happen so we may be prepared.  Sadly, we aren’t always listening, just like the disciples.  The sad news about Jesus leaving them and others seeking to harm them had kept them from the more important question “where is Jesus going”?   Asking that question would reveal his true identity and undoubtedly assuage their fears.  Happily, Jesus offers up the information on his own after the disciples are sidetracked.   I’m glad that the Lord doesn’t hold our failures and slowness against us.  I believe as long as we are honestly seeking Him, and doing what our limited abilities will allow, He moves to meet us along the pathway to understanding.
Vs 7   When Christ died as a substitute for our sins there was more happening than death and sin being conquered.  I’v e heard others remark that Jesus didn’t pay the devil a ransom for us…because He doesn’t owe the devil anything.  He already had dominion over us.  Christ’s death was done in full view of the Father, who required an atonement for our sins against Him.  Breach of  trust demands to be addressed, especially if the person transgressed is in a position of power.   I can tell a lie to a beggar on the street and not face many consequences from the authorities, but if I lie to Congress, or the President, I could very well go to jail.
We broke trust  with the highest authority in the universe.  We violated the relationship with the Creator himself, that had to be addressed.   And that’s what Jesus did when He died for our sins, he addressed the issue and made it right with God.  But, that’s not all that happened.
We learn here that Jesus then returned to heaven with new power and authority and commissioned the Holy Spirit to return to earth to assist us.  That hadn’t been available  before, and wouldn’t have been ever, had not Jesus been successful in defeating satan at his own game.
Verse 13 tells us that the Holy Spirit will (and has) revealed things to us that Jesus wanted to, but wasn’t able to because of our inability to understand.   This means when I read my Bible, I should constantly be learning and growing.  The Holy Spirit uses Study, Experience, Fellowship and Worship to teach us.  Of course, He also teaches us via our experiences in serving others.
Vs 13.  The Spirit tells us about the future.  I don’t know that we learn about all future events, or even immediate future events.  What we learn about for sure is the End of Days events.  That’s really the most important future event to be concerned about.
Toward the end of this chapter Jesus tells the disciples that “in this life they will have many troubles”.  Often Christians are led to believe that a life of living faithfully will result in no trouble, perhaps even in wealth and ease.  Jesus never said that would be the case.  In fact, right here He is saying the opposite.  Christians are gong to have problems in this life for two reasons: 1. Everyone has problems, we aren’t exempt 2. The world is under the authority of a different ruler (satan) at the moment and he hates Jesus, whom we serve.  Therefore, as long as we are living here on earth, we are going to have resistance and problems.
The best news is this; Jesus says “take heart, I have overcome the world”.  Hurray!  Sure, we may have problems, and yes there will be difficulties and disappointments.  But in the end we are on the winning side.  I like the illustration of a woman giving birth, but it doesn’t resonate with me personally.   I once heard a guy say “I will stand out in the woods all day, freezing cold and miserable and wanting nothing more than to go home…until I see a trophy buck come sauntering into my path…then I forget all the pain, all the cold, all the discomfort.”     That’s what being a Christian is like.  It’s hard now, but it won’t even   be remembered when we arrive in heaven.
Be blessed today as you serve the Lord!