November 10 – John 16:25-33
Starting our passage in verse 25 could be a little confusing; Jesus simultaneously picks up a new topic while returning to the topic of “asking the Father” that he started back in verse 23. On his new topic, Jesus promises the disciples that a day is coming when he will speak to them plainly, revealing truths about God that, at the present for the disciples, were veiled. Jesus is likely referencing a time after his resurrection when the truth of the gospel will be opened to the disciples, much like in Luke 24:45 where their minds were opened to the truth of the scriptures. Returning to his first topic of prayer, he tells the disciples that soon they will pray directly to the Father in Jesus’ name (rather than asking Jesus to pray for them).
And then there’s this sweet little line that Jesus throws in there, “for the Father himself loves you.” What a beautiful, quietly tender promise of God’s love for these men. And this is where some of the poignancy of the middle of the passage starts to shed some light on what Jesus is saying at the beginning and end of it. Skip ahead to verse 32, when Jesus tells the disciples that they will soon abandon him, leaving him to face his death friendless and alone. The disciples put on a good face, saying now they believe with full conviction! “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” they said. (Matt.26:35) But in the end, Jesus knew they would all let him down.
And yet Jesus tells these men that God loves them. And he still desired good things for them; he goes on to say in verse 33 that he wants them to have peace in the face of the world’s tribulation, and he wants them to know that after all the sorrow of his death they can take heart because he has overcome everything, even death itself. Jesus knows that his steadfastness is better for them than their resolve; they will flee, but he will overcome. Flipping this passage around and reading everything in light of Jesus’ prediction, we can see just how much Jesus legitimately loved these men, even in the face of their ill-placed self-confidence and inevitable failures. And turning this passage on ourselves we can trust that Jesus loves us just the same, desires the same good things for us, and provides a peace that this world can never, ever touch.
Questions for Discussion
• Can someone read John 16:25-33 for us?
• What stood out to you from this section?
• How does the disciples’ reply to Jesus compare to his assessment of the situation?
• Knowing that the disciples are going to abandon Jesus, read back over this passage. What are some of the things Jesus tells these men?
• What do you think Jesus was trying to leave his disciples with in this conversation?
• What does it mean that Jesus has “overcome the world” and how can that help us “take heart”?
• Take a look at verse 33. What’s an area of your life where you know you need the peace Jesus provides?