Bible Reading Blog
“Remember What He Said”Categories: Congregational Bible Reading
BIBLE READING: John 16
“…I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.” (John 16.4)
My oldest daughter asks me the same question every night: “what are we going to do tomorrow?” She doesn’t like to be taken off guard, and I’ve found that when she knows what to expect, she handles those situations much better. That may be a basic human quality. When we have the facts, we are more prepared to handle whatever comes next.
Jesus plainly told his followers what to expect. “They will put you out of the synagogues… whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God (John 16.2) — The world will hate you (John 15.18-25). The words of Jesus prepared them for what they would experience. Not so they would fixate on the struggle but have hope to endure it. “I have said these things to keep you from falling away” (John 16.1).
He knew the coming days would be difficult. They would have to carry on his mission without him physically present. There would be a lot of confusion. But two things would power them through: the example and words of Jesus. This had a significant impact as Peter and John both emphasized these things as they shared the gospel mission with others (1 Peter 2.21-23; 1 John 2.5-6).
Jesus’ knowledge of the path ahead not only prepared the apostles for what was coming but solidified their trust in Jesus. The same is true for us today. Even though we are generations removed from the incarnate life of Jesus, he knew with clarity the challenges that come with being a disciple. So, he warned us, “to count the cost” (Luke 14.25-33). It is a life filled with difficulty and hardship; but it is a life worth living for the end result (John 14.6).
Not only does Jesus know the struggles we face, but he has also been through it, and shown us how to endure. “being found in human form, he humbled himself… to the point of death.. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every other name…” (Philippians 2.8-ff). We may not like what he tells us at times, but his words give truth and life. Ultimately, when we adhere to the words of Jesus, and model his example in suffering, we find hope.
Much like the apostles we may not understand what Jesus is saying until after the fact, but we must not live aloof to what he has said. We need to hide his word in our hearts (Psalm 119.11). It is the substance of our faith that reveals God’s insight into our lives, as well as the world around us. We may not like it, but God’s word always proves true (Proverbs 30.5), and it has been preserved so that in our time of tempting, we may remember what he has said.