79. The Last Supper (4 of 5)
The Last Supper (4 of 5)….THEY shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you, you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.
But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.
But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believed not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew itunto you.
All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.
Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, A little while, and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father?
Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and he said,
Do ye inquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me?
Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice; and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.
A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.
And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father. At that day ye shall ask in my name: and 1 say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: for the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.
I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.
His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. Now are we sure that thou knowest all things: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God. Jesus answered,
Do ye now believe? Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Scripture: John 16:5-11
Meditation 1 of 4:
Who hasn’t experience sorrow and grief over the loss of a loved one? Sorrow filled the hearts of Jesus’ disciples when they heard him speak about his imminent departure. Jesus explained that it was for their sake that he must leave them and return to his Father. He promised, however, that they would never be left alone. He will send in his place the best of friends, the Holy Spirit. Jesus tells his disciples three very important things about the work of the Holy Spirit — to convince the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment. The original word for convince also means convict. The Holy Spirit is our Sanctifier. He makes us holy as God is holy. He does this first by convicting us of our sin and by bringing us humbly to the foot of the Cross. The Spirit convinces us of God’s love and forgiveness and of our utter dependence on God for his mercy and grace. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to lead us from the error of our sinful ways and to show us the way of love and truth. The Jews who condemned Jesus as a heretic and blasphemer thought they were serving God rather than sinning when they crucified Jesus. When the gospel was later preached on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:37), many were pricked in their heart and convicted of their sin. What made them change their mind about Jesus? It is the work of the Holy Spirit to both convict us of wrongdoing and to convince us of God’s truth. The Spirit convinces us of the righteousness of Christ, backed by the fact that Jesus rose again and went to his Father. The Holy Spirit also convicts us of judgment. The Spirit gives us the inner and unshakable conviction that we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God. God’s judgments are just and good. When we heed his judgments we find true peace, joy and reconciliation with God. Do you allow the Holy Spirit free reign in your life that he may set you free from the grip of sin and set you ablaze with the fire of God’s love?
“Come Holy Spirit, and let the fire of your love burn in my heart. Let me desire only what is pure, lovely, holy and good and in accord with the will of God and give me the courage to put away all that is not pleasing in your sight.”
Scripture: John 16:12-15
Meditation 2 of 4:
What would you give to know all truth! Truth, however, is not something we create nor is it our discovery. It is the gift of God who is the possessor and the giver of all truth. Jesus tells his disciples that it is the role of the Holy Spirit to reveal what is true. How can this be? Skeptics of truth don’t want to believe in an absolute Truth. If truth is objective then it must be submitted to as authoritative. Some fear the truth because they think it will inhibit their freedom. Jesus told his disciples that the truth will set you free (John 8:32).The truth liberates us from doubts, illusions, and fears. Since God is the source of all truth, then the closer we draw to him and listen to his word, the more we grow in the knowledge of him and of his great love and wisdom for us. Jesus told his disciples that he would send them the Spirit of truth who will announce to you the things to come. Through the Holy Spirit, we proclaim our ancient faith in the saving death and resurrection of Christ until he comes again. The Lord gives us his Holy Spirit as our divine Teacher and Helper that we may grow in the knowledge and wisdom of God. Do you seek the wisdom that comes from above and do you willingly obey God’s word?
“Lord Jesus, fill me with your Holy Spirit and guide me into your way of truth. Free me from erroneous and false ways and lead me in the knowledge of your ways and your will for my life. May there be nothing in my life that is not under your lordship.”
1 Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens, praise him in the heights!
2 Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his host!
3 Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars!
4 Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens!
5 Let them praise the name of the LORD! For he commanded and they were created.
6 And he established them for ever and ever; he fixed their bounds which cannot be passed.
7 Praise the LORD from the earth, you sea monsters and all deeps,
8 fire and hail, snow and frost, stormy wind fulfilling his command!
9 Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars!
10 Beasts and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds!
11 Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth
12 Young men and maidens together, old men and children!
13 Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his glory is above earth and heaven.
14 He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his saints, for the people of Israel who are near to him. Praise the LORD!
Scripture: John 16:23-28
Meditation 3 of 4:
Do you pray with confidence to your heavenly Father? Jesus often taught his disciples by way of illustration or parable. Here he speaks not in “figures” (the same word used for parables), but in plain speech. Jesus revealed to them the hidden treasure of the heavenly kingdom and he taught them how to pray to the Father in his name. Now Jesus opens his heart and speaks in the plainest of language:“The Father himself loves you!” How can the disciples be certain of this? Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, Jesus makes it possible for his disciples to have a new relationship with God as their Father. No one would have dared to call God his Father before this! Because of what Jesus has done for us in offering his life for our redemption we now have a new relationship as the adopted children of God. Paul the Apostles says that “when we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:15- 16). We can boldly approach God as our Father and ask him for the things we need. In love he bids us to draw near to his throne of grace and mercy. Do you approach the Father with confidence in his love and with expectant faith in his promise to hear your prayers?
“Heavenly Father, your love knows no bounds and your mercies are new every day. Fill me with gratitude for your countless blessings and draw me near to your throne of grace and mercy. Give me confidence and boldness to pray that your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Scripture: John 16:29-33
Meditation 4 of 4:
How did Jesus convince his disciples that he was the Son of God? Jesus could read their hearts like an open book. He answered their questions before they could even speak them out. And he showed them the glory of God. For a Christian, believing in God cannot be separated from believing in the One he sent, his “beloved Son”, in whom the Father is “well pleased”. We can believe in Jesus because he is himself God, the Word made flesh. Because he “has seen the Father”, Jesus is the only one who knows him and can reveal him. Our faith is “certain” because it is founded on the very word of God who cannot lie. Faith is already the beginning of eternal life. Basil the Great says: “When we contemplte the blessings of faith even now, as if gazing at a reflection in a mirror, it is as if we already possessed the wonderful things which our faith assures us we shall enjoy one day.” Do you nourish and strengthen your faith with the word of God?
In spite of their belief, Jesus warned his disciples that their faith would be put to the test and that they would fail. Jesus spoke plainly about the tragedy of betrayal and the triumph of the cross. Jesus knew the hearts of his disciples better than they knew. He knew they would desert him in his hour of trial. Such knowledge could have easily led to bitterness and rejection. Jesus met the injury of betrayal and disloyalty with supreme love and trust in his disciples. He loved his disciples to the very end even when they left him alone to die on the cross. He knew that the cross would not bring defeat but victory over sin and death. Jesus speaks the same word to us today. “My love for you is unconditional and I will never abandon you”. While we cannot avoid all pain and suffering in this life, Jesus, nonetheless assures us that he will guide us safely through any difficulty or trial we may have to undergo for his sake. Jesus calls each of us to take courage, because he has overcome the world. The Holy Spirit gives us a living hope in the power of the resurrection and a confident trust in God ‘s abiding presence. Nothing can overcome this faith and hope in Christ’s victory — no trial, suffering, temptation, or testing. The Holy Spirit gives us the strength and courage we need to overcome adversity and to persevere in faith. Do you believe that nothing can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus (see Romans 8:38-39)?
“Lord, help me to trust in your saving power, especially when I meet adversities and trials. Give me your peace when I am troubled and let me know the joy of your victory over sin and death.”