8 And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; 11 about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.
12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
The Spirit comes to continue the work of Christ on earth, both in the lives of unbelievers and believers. The Spirit is God, just as Christ is, and works to draw all to Godself. There is more for us to learn from the Spirit and there is more for us to do and be in the world through the work of the Spirit. Our invitation is to participate in declaring the things of God to a world that needs to hear, beginning with our own contexts.
- As you think of Jesus’ ministry on earth, how do you see and experience his continued work through the Spirit?
- Where do you see the Spirit continuing to guide you into all truth?
- How do you find yourself participating in the things of God in your daily life?
Gracious Lord, thank you that your ministry to believers and unbelievers continues through the Spirit of God that is ever present and ever working among us. Give us faith to believe in your work in the world, eyes to see what you are doing, and courage to step in as participants wherever we are. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
16 “A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me.” 17 Then some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying to us, ‘A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 18 They said, “What does he mean by this ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.” 19 Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Are you discussing among yourselves what I meant when I said, ‘A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’?
Jesus has told them a lot in the upper room. What is starting to sink in for them is the reality that things are changing, and that Jesus will not be with them. The disciples are probably experiencing feelings of disruption, panic, grief...you name it. We all experience these times when we have to face daunting change. And it is then that we are invited to take our questions and emotions to Jesus, who already knows our heart.
- When have you experienced daunting change?
- Where did you experience Jesus in it?
- Is there something now that is leaving you unsettled that you need to seek Jesus for answers about?
Gracious Jesus, thank you that we serve a God who knows us in our deepest selves and who meets us in our uncertainties. We lay our fears and questions before you and ask that you will provide what we need to be your faithful followers in a time of uncertainty. In Your name, Amen.
20 Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy. 21 When a woman is in labor, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world. 22 So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. 23 On that day you will ask nothing of me. Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.
Jesus continues to prepare his followers for the road ahead when he is not physically with them. He does not tell them that the road will be easy and free of sorrow and pain, but he does promise that their work will bring joy and that God will provide for them what they ask for.
- When have you experienced sorrow and mourning in your journey with Christ?
- Have you ever experienced a time when your pain turned into joy?
- As you seek to be faithful to Jesus during this time, what do you need from him?
Gracious Lord, thank you that your words prepare us for what to expect so that we are not surprised when the journey gets difficult and filled with pain. We pray for joy as we faithfully follow you in whatever context you have put us and ask that you will give us the strength to do the work that you have called us to do today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
25 “I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures but will tell you plainly of the Father. 26 On that day you will ask in my name. I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; 27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and am going to the Father.” 29 His disciples said, “Yes, now you are speaking plainly, not in any figure of speech! 30 Now we know that you know all things, and do not need to have anyone question you; by this we believe that you came from God.”
Jesus’ patience with his followers as he prepared them for what would happen next finally resulted in their understanding of what he was saying. Their declaration about Jesus was not so much that all their questions were answered, but that he knows all things and is above being challenged, and that he indeed came from God, God made flesh. That was what they needed to know in order to be faithful followers of Christ.
- What questions do you have that you have asked God?
- What do you believe about Jesus that empowers you to trust him with things you don’t understand?
- What are you asking for in Jesus’ name?
Gracious Lord, thank you for continuing to patiently reveal yourself to us in ways that we can understand. Help us to not lose heart in listening to you and for you in our lives. Keep us close enough to you so that we can hear you and respond. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32 The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. 33 I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!”
Jesus demonstrates that he indeed knows all things, including the that disciples will scatter and leave his side. But his belonging is with the Trinity and because of that, he is not alone. He graces them with his peace and courage, based on the conviction Jesus is going ahead of them, has overcome, and will be present with them in their struggles, bestowing on them the peace and courage they need to flourish.
- When have you felt scattered from Jesus and from his followers?
- How easy is it for you to find belonging with the Trinity?
- In what ways do you need peace and courage right now?
Gracious Lord, you said these things as you were preparing to put yourself into the hands of your killers. Thank you for the concern that you had for them and the concern that you have for us as we navigate our way in this world. Give us peace that guides our steps and courage to be faithful to what you have for us to do in our context. In Jesus’ name, Amen.