Scripture reading for May 27th: John 16:1-33
“I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you; Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” (John 16:20-22)
Jesus spoke plainly about His coming departure and the grief that would come over the disciples as they witnessed the unfolding of events. They did not fully understand what He was saying, but He knew that the Holy Spirit would help them understand fully and remember what He taught them. He encouraged them to be patient and look for the joy that would follow.
Jesus likened the disciples joy at His resurrection to that of a mother who had just had a child. The time immediately preceding the birth would be filled with pain and anguish. The birth pains had to come before the baby was introduced to the world. So Jesus had to go through the battle with the ‘prince of this world’ and face the last enemy, ‘death’! But the ‘prince of this world’ had no hold on Him. (John 14:30) The ‘prince of this world’ must be driven out! (John 12:31) This battle would involve the cross for Jesus and the ‘prince of darkness’ would attempt to hold Him in death. However, Jesus would be victorious and emerge from the grave with the keys of death and hell! (Revelation 1:18) He would spoil the principalities and powers of darkness, and make a public show of them openly by the cross! (Colossians 2:15)
When these disciples experienced Jesus in resurrection, their grief would be turned to a joy that no one could take away! They would know God the Father was true and the Gift of the Father would teach them all things. They would understand that death had no hold on them either and live with a new boldness to share the love of God in Christ Jesus! Christ’s victory would assure them of their victory! Are you living in this joy? Why not put your faith in Jesus Christ and experience it for yourself?
Scripture reading for May 25th: John 14:15-31
Jesus, knowing that a short time remained with the eleven remaining disciples, began to teach them about the Gift of the Father. He told them He would ask the Father to give them another Counselor like Him who would be with them forever. (John 14:16-17) This Counselor would be known as the Spirit of Truth who would live in them and those who would believe on account of their witness. Those in the world would not have this Gift or understand anything about Him.
This Counselor was not just a vague spirit, but a true person. This third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, was a special gift to Jesus’ disciples. He would be sent by the Father at Jesus’ request. He would help them by reminding them of everything that Jesus had taught them and then would teach them all things. These things Jesus instructed the disciples about so that they would have peace through the coming storm of events.
Jesus was prophesied to be the “Prince of Peace” and “Wonderful Counselor” by Isaiah. (Isaiah 9:6) Jesus’ teachings were marked by unusual wisdom and people everywhere marveled at His ability to speak like no one else. When Jesus had asked these disciples if they wanted to leave Him, Peter had spoken up that Jesus had words of eternal life and there was no one else like Him. (John 6:68)
As Jesus prepared to leave these men, He granted them His peace. This peace was beyond anything the world could offer. It was a supernatural peace granted by the only One who can give sinful humans peace with God through forgiveness of sins. “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27) He and they would soon face tremendous spiritual conflict with the ‘prince of this world’, Satan. Jesus assured them that this prince had no hold on Him. He was going to fully obey the Father and demonstrate that obedience to the world.
Do you live in this supernatural peace given by Jesus Christ? It is available today to those who follow Him and put their trust in His word. This peace comes with Jesus’ perfect love that drives out all fear and is revealed to us by the Holy Spirit!