November 19: Peace No Matter What

Read John 16:25-33

The verses you just read are situated at the end of what has been called “The Upper Room Discourse.” To fully appreciate their value, let’s attempt to understand the setting of these instructions Jesus gave to His disciples.

The location of the instruction is two-fold. It began in an upper room owned by a man who had allowed them to use it. But, even though theologians describe it in terms of the upper room, much of the teaching continued beyond that room (John 14:31), presumably enroute to the Garden of Gethsemane.

The occasion was the Passover. This was one of the most important celebrations in all Judaism. Through it, Jews reflected on a time centuries before when God delivered His people from Egyptian captivity. In the celebration, they remembered the protection their Heavenly Father provided to all who had placed blood on their doorways.

But there was more to this occasion than just the Passover. This was the night prior to the crucifixion. Jesus understood that (Jn. 13:1)…and His disciples were struggling with the reality and the imminence of His departure (Jn. 13:36-14:8). Consequently, the disciples were moved with sorrow and confusion and Christ’s instruction was filled with encouragement and hope.

While the disciples were troubled in their spirits, the Lord assured them that His absence was a necessity. It would allow Him to prepare a place for them (14:1-6). And even in His absence, He would send another Counselor/Comforter (14:16, 17). He confidently pointed out the advantages of the Spirit’s indwelling presence over His own physical presence (16:7).

The “Upper Room Discourse,” you see, was designed to speak peace to troubled souls. But its truths reach beyond a dozen men on a journey from a second story room to a garden. The promise of peace extends through the centuries and around the globe to all who face the tribulation that is so much a part of life in this world. It is a peace in the world’s tribulation made possible by the very One who has overcome the world.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (Jn. 16:33)

sbk

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