March 24, 2013



March 24

Jesus Prepares His Disciples 2


Welcome back to our Easter 2013 series, AGOG – A Glimpse of God. We are on Day 24 of our adventure, looking together at the life of the most amazing person in human history - Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Today we look briefly again at Jesus preparing His disciples for the coming few days and His departure from them


John 15:18–16:4

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also. But all this they will do to you on my account, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. It is to fulfil the word that is written in their law, ‘They hated me without a cause.’ But when the Counsellor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me; and you also are witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning.

“I have said all this to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues; indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do this because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you of them. I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.


Disciples will suffer for the kingdom

Having spoken of love and bearing fruit, Jesus now declares a warning to His disciples and the context into which He is sending them. They will learn, if they were not already aware, that opposition to Jesus’ message was unavoidable. Their first opposition would be that of world. As His Disciples, Jesus said, they were called out from the world (John 15v19). They belonged to a different place and were heading for a different place. His disciples have been called into His kingdom – the kingdom of God.


Secondly, opposition was to be expected simply because of who Jesus was (John 15:21). Just as His Disciples shared in the life of Jesus so will they share in His persecution by being persecuted themselves. If the world treated Jesus in such a way, then the world would also treat His disciples that way (John 15v20-21). Jesus’ disciples would go and do great things for the Kingdom of God, just as Jesus did, and suffer the persecution for it. Not only had Jesus’ teachings been rejected by the religious leaders, but so had his miracles and good works. These people were not only in opposition to Jesus, the Son of God, but also in opposition to God the Father! The Disciples were not to be like that!


Thirdly, opposition comes through revealing evil. Jesus, as the Light of the World, had exposed evil and sin through His words (John 15v22) and works (John 15v24). At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus commanded all those who follow Him, to also be “lights of the world” (Matthew 5v14-16). This was to be done by consistently ensuring that their works and words matched their lifestyle. Opposition brings persecution, is the warning Jesus gives His disciples. The law predicted that the Jewish people would reject Jesus.


Then Jesus gives them some good news and encouragement! They will persevere, because His Disciples will not be alone. Jesus and the Father will send the Spirit, the Comforter! Jesus will be with them to help them through the Spirit! The Spirit will be a witness for Jesus and testify about Him! But, the disciples would also need to testify and witness about the works and words of Jesus Christ. They were to be the audible voice of the Holy Spirit who would live inside them!


Why is Jesus preparing them? He is preparing His disciples so they do not fall away from him. His disciples would be excommunicated from the synagogues and possibly killed for following Jesus. All this would be done, Jesus says, because they are blindly thinking they are serving God. But they do not know God, because they hadn’t known Jesus – they had rejected Him. When the time of persecution comes, they will remember what Jesus has said. Previously all persecution had fallen on Jesus, but when He departs back to the Father, it will fall on them! Ergo, it was necessary that Jesus prepared His disciples for that time coming shortly when they would be persecuted for loving and following Him.


Come back tomorrow for Day 25 of our series AGOG, as we continue to look together at that extraordinary man, Jesus Christ, through the Gospel accounts! We shall see together Jesus continuing to prepare His disciples for when He leaves them! See you soon at Partakers!

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