Keith Hunt - Bible Story, NT - Chapter Thirty-seven: Jesus' last Passover on earth - part three   Restitution of All Things
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New Testament Bible
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Chapter Thirty-seven:

Jesus' last Passover on earth - part three




JESUS WARNS OF PERSECUTION

     Jesus continued with plain words to His disciples, "If the
world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.
If you were of the world, doing what the world does, the world
would love you; but because you are not living like the general
world lives, but I chose you to live differently, then the world
will hate you. Remember the word I said to you that a servant is
not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they
will also persecute you; if they keep my word, they will also
keep yours. They will persecute you because of me, for they do
not know the One who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to the
world, they would not understand what sin is; but now they really
do not have any excuse for their sin. 
     He who hates me, hates my Father also. If I had not done in
the world the works that I did do, which no one else ever did,
they could say they do not understand what sin is; but now they
have seen and heard, and they hated both myself and the Father.
All this fulfils the words written in their law, 'They hated me
without a cause.' But when the Holy Spirit comes, whom I will
send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, that
proceeds from the Father Himself, he will bear witness of me; and
you also are witnesses because you have been with me from the
beginning of my ministry.
     I have said all this to you to help keep you from falling
away. They, your persecutors, will throw you out of the churches;
indeed, the day is coming when whoever KILLS you will THINK he is
offering SERVICE to GOD! And they will do all this because they
have not known the Father, nor known me. But I have said these
things to you, that when they do these things, you will remember
I told you it would happen at times until I come again" (John 15:
18  to 16: 4).

     And so the history of the last two thousands year has shown
that at times some of God's true people have been persecuted even
unto death, often by others who claimed the name of Christ,
thinking that by killing people they were actually serving God.
Such can be the depths of deception that the human mind can fall
into, usually helped along in that deception by Satan the Devil
and his demons.

WORDS OF COMFORT

     Jesus now goes into quite a long talk about Himself and the
Holy Spirit, to give comfort and encouragement to all His
disciples from the day He spoke them, to the day of His return in
glory.

     "I did not say these things to you at the beginning, because
I was with you. But now I am going to Him who sent me; yet none
of you asks me, 'Where are you going?' But because I have said
these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless
I tell you the truth; it is to your advantage that I go away, for
if I do not go, the Holy Spirit will not come to you; but if I
go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convince
and convict the world of sin and of righteousness and of
judgment. Of sin, because they do not believe in me; of
righteousness because I go to the Father, and you will see me no
more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
     I have many things to say to you, but now is not the right
time, for you are not in the state of mind to hear all I have to
say to you. When the Spirit of truth has come, he will guide you
all into the truth; for he will not speak to you by his own
authority, but whatsoever the Spirit hears that it will speak to
you, and he will declare and help you understand the things that
are yet to come on this earth. He will glorify me, for he will
take what belongs to me, and declare it to you. All that the
Father has is mine; therefore that is why I said to you he will
take what is mine and declare it to you.
     In a little while, you will see me no more; then again in a
little while, you will see me once more. "

     Some of the disciples said to each other, "What is this that
Jesus talks about, 'A little while, and you will not see me, and
again a little while and you will see me'; and 'because I go to
the Father'? They said to each other that they did not understand
what Jesus was saying by "a little while.' They were again very
puzzled by many things He was saying of late, and now puzzled
over this, "a little while" talk.
     Jesus knew they wanted to ask Him to be clearer in His
talking to them.  Jesus said to them, "Is this what you are
asking each other, what I meant by saying, 'A little while, and
you will not see me, and then a little while and you will see
me'?  Well, shortly you will all weep and lament, while the world
will rejoice; you will be filled with sorrow, but your sorrow
will be turned into joy. When a woman goes into labor and is
ready to deliver a child, she has sorrow and anguish because her
time to bring forth a child has come; but when she has brought
forth her baby, her anguish she no longer remembers, for her
joy that a child is born over shadows any anguish she had. So,
you have sorrow now, you are down cast and low in the spirit of
your minds, but I will see you again and your heart will then
rejoice, and no one will be able to take away your joy of heart.
On that day you will ask me no questions. But truly I say to you,
if you do ask anything of the Father,  He will give it to you, in
my name. If you have not yet asked anything in my name, then ask,
and you will receive, in order that your joy may be full.
     Yes I know I have often spoken to you in parables and
analogies; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to
you in parables and analogies, but I will tell you clearly and
plainly what comes from the Father.  At that time you will ask in
my name; and I will not have to pray to the Father for you; for
the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved me and have
believed that I came from the Father. So the Father will answer
you. Yes, I have come from the Father into this world, and again
I am going to leave this world and return to the Father."

     "Ah, now you are speaking plainly," the disciples said, "and
not in parables. We know that you know all things, and need no
one to question you about that fact. And by all this we believe
you have come from God."
     Jesus answered them, "Do you now believe? The hour is
coming, indeed it has come, when you will all be scattered, every
man to his home, and will leave me alone; yet I am not alone, for
the Father is with me. I have said this to you, that in me you
may have peace of heart. In the world you will at times have
tribulation; but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world,
and you can also, if you have me with you" (John 16: 4-33).

     Once more Jesus gave them the hope and comfort that the Holy
Spirit would come and lead them, teach them, give them strength,
and guide them into remembering all that Jesus had taught them,
and also lead them into more of the truths of God.

     Jesus was telling them that He would be taken away from them
in a very short time, that they would be scattered, they would be
in sorrow, anguish, very low in their hearts and minds, somewhat
like being very sad over the loss of a close friend, or a pet
dog or cat. But, He was also assuring them that they would see
Him again, and they did indeed after He had risen from the grave.
And Jesus told them that at that time they would be in utter joy,
which, as we shall see later, they certainly were. 
     He told them to be asking the Father in His name, and He was
telling them that the Father loved them, because they had loved
Him and believed that He did come from the Father. He told them
He did come from the Father, and that He now needed to go back to
the Father.

     The disciples could now understand those clear words of
Jesus' and they told Him they very much believed He had come from
the Father.
     Jesus acknowledged what they now confessed, but wanted to
tell them that even in their state of belief, they would very
shortly be scattered by the events that would unfold, and He
would be a lonely individual, yet not alone because the Father
would be with Him.
     Jesus told them that sometimes in the life of a disciple of
His, there would be trials, tests, troubles, and tribulation; but
He wanted them to know they could still have great joy, to be of
good cheer, for as He had overcome the world with all its
tribulations, so they likewise could overcome the world. 

     With God the Father and Jesus Christ living within us
through the Holy Spirit, we can have victory over Satan, our
carnal pulls of the flesh, and over all the tribulations that
the world can sometimes throw at us. When those disciples were
filled with the Holy Spirit on the feast of Pentecost (Acts 2),
they were filled with the very power and nature of God, and did
go forth into the world, did at times face tribulations, but they
remembered and understood all the words Jesus had spoken to them,
while He was with them on earth. They did have cheer in their
hearts and they did overcome the world.

JESUS' PERSONAL PRAYER FOR HIS DISCIPLES

     Jesus lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, "Father, the
hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you,
since you have given Him power over all flesh, so that he might
give ETERNAL LIFE to all whom YOU have given to HIM. And this is
eternal life, that they may KNOW YOU the ONLY true God, and Jesus
Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having
accomplished and done all the works you gave me to do; and now,
Father, glorify me in your own presence with the GLORY I HAD
WITH YOU BEFORE the world was made.
     I have manifested your name to the men whom you gave to me
out of this world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and
they HAVE KEPT my WORD. Now they KNOW that EVERYTHING you gave me
was FROM you; and they have BELIEVED that YOU DID send me. I am
praying FOR THEM; I am not now praying for the world, but for
THOSE whom you gave to me, for they are YOURS. All mine are
yours. And yours are mine. I am glorified in them. 
     Now I will soon be no more in this world, but they will
remain in this world, while I am coming to you. Holy Father,
PLEASE KEEP THEM in the name which you gave to me, that THEY may
be as ONE, even as WE are ONE.
     While I was with them I kept them in the name you gave to
me; I have guarded and protected them, and not one of them is
lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be
fulfilled. But now I am coming to you; and these things I have
spoken while in the world that my disciples may have the joy
fulfilled in themselves. I have given THEM your WORD; and the
world has hated them because they are not of the world, even as I
am not of the world. Please Father, set them apart in the truth;
YOUR WORD IS TRUTH. As you did send me into the world, so I send
them into the world. And for their sake I set myself apart in
you, that they also may be set apart in the truth.
     I do only not pray for these by disciples that are here, but
also for those who will believe in me through their word of
teaching, that they ALL may be ONE; even as you, Father, are in
me, and I in you, that they also may be IN US, so that the world
may believe that you DID SEND me. 
     The glory that you gave to me I give to them, that THEY may
be ONE even as WE are ONE. I in them and you in me, that THEY may
become PERFECTLY  ONE, so that the world may know that you did
send me, and have loved THEM as you loved ME. 
     Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may
be with me where I will be, in your Kingdom, to behold my GLORY
which you have given me in the love for me before the foundation
of the world. 
     O righteous Father, the world has not known you, but I HAVE
KNOWN you; and these my disciples have known that you have sent
me. I made known to them YOUR NAME, and I will make it known
always, that the love with which you have loved me may be in
THEM, and I IN them" (John 17: 1-26).

     
     There is little to comment on here, the words of Jesus in
this prayer are clear and simple to read and understand. It is
worth going over them again, slowly, and often, with thoughtful
meditation.

     When Jesus had spoken these words He went on with His
disciples, across the Kidron Valley to a garden called
Gethsemane.

               ...............................

Written January 2003


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