Saturday, February 04, 2012

John 16 29 to 33

29 His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.
30 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.
31 Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?
32 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.
33 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.

Key Observation:

Be of good cheer for I have overcome the world.

Nearly everyone deserted Jesus at the cross. Peter, probably confounded by his denials (6 denials?), and confounded yet again when he demonstrated his misplaced zeal for Jesus by cutting off one of the lesser guards’ ears, and being promptly rebuked by Jesus. Again I remember that it was Jesus who directed the disciples to “go and buy swords”, yet I see no evidence of the need of swords, and I do see Peter being rebuked. (Luke 22:36) The disciples fled the guards, and it seems that Luke was there for part of the trial of Jesus, and John, and Mary, the mother of Jesus were all that remained.

Jesus tells us that He will not be alone, for the Father is with Him, and looking towards the future victory, He tells us that He has overcome the world. I see a lot of literary irony here—is not Christ going to his death, and abandoned by nearly everyone? Yet He says, I have overcome the world. Tozer says, “The image of God currently popular is that of a distracted Father, struggling in heartbroken desperation to get people to accept a Saviour of whom they feel no need and in whom they have very little interest. To persuade these self-sufficient souls to respond to His generous offers God will do almost anything, even using salesmanship methods and talking down to them in the chummiest way imaginable. This view of things is, of course, a kind of religious romanticism which, while it often uses flattering and sometimes embarrassing terms in praise of God, manages nevertheless to make man the star of the show.” Man is not the star of the show; he never has been. Here, I think, Jesus is isolated in part to make clear the story is all about Him, and to the cross I should forever cling.

Jesus, being God, was able to take the prophetic view. He reminds us that we will have much tribulation in the world. He clearly sees the cross, and has told the disciples of its coming, but He sees past the cross, past the resurrection, past the ascension, even to the time when He will singly declare victory, having vanquished all enemies of God, and having saved every one that the Father has given Him. When Paul is contemplating this great truth, he exclaims, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Romans 8:35) I can die a horrible death of a martyr, be lost at sea, be randomly murdered, or die of some wasting disease. BUT NOTHING shall separate me from the love of Christ—Jesus has conquered even death, and there are none who will pluck me from His hand.

I just had occasion to look at my poor features in the mirror, and somehow an old man was staring back at me. I commented to my wife recently asking how we grew old? Every day is like the day before, and yet nearly 40 years have come and gone in our married life together. Is it not good to know that God overcomes age? I lay thinking and praying in bed last night, reflecting on the many saints who have gone before me, making a long list of those I will seek out in heaven. All things will be made subject to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. And in the middle of all of that, Jesus has elected to love me and give me eternal life. Let me then put on the prophetic eyes of my Lord, and let me look down the future towards the victory that He will accomplish.

Tozer, A.W. (2010-06-03). Man - The Dwelling Place of God (Kindle Locations 296-300). Unknown. Kindle Edition.

At the Cross

1. Alas, and did my Savior bleed,
And did my Sov'reign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

2. Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity, grace unknown,
And love beyond degree!

3. Well might the sun in darkness hide,
And shut His glories in,
When Christ the mighty Maker died
For man, the creature's sin.

4. Thus might I hide my blushing face
While Calvary's cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt mine eyes to tears.

5. But drops of grief can ne'er repay
The debt of love I owe;
Here, Lord, I give myself away,
'Tis all that I can do.

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

Lyrics: Isaac Watts; Chorus: Ralph Erskine Hudson

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