Words of Warning and Promise

We take a step back in John this week returning to chapters that are before the crucifixion and before the resurrection. But I think this will be of great value to us. If you are like me, Lent has flown by and Holy Week was even faster. We don’t always have enough time, or make enough time, to meditate on what Jesus went through on his way to the cross.

But even though he knows the cross is before him, Jesus shows great concern for his disciples in these last days. Jesus keeps telling them about what will happen, warning them of hardship and persecution, but assuring them that they will not be left alone. He promises tribulation for those who follow Jesus (16:33). And Jesus also promises the Holy Spirit. He says, “you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy.

These are expectations that we must remember in full. The life of the Christian is not to be without struggle. The disciples who remained faithful had, by the worlds standards, harder lives after they were called by Jesus, not easier ones. But we have more reason than any others for joy. The world will bring trouble, but we know that Christ–our Risen Lord–has overcome the world.

We read these words or warning and promise for the same reason Jesus told them to his followers.

But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.

John 16:4

We read, meditate on, memorize, and love God’s Word for we need his guidance. We need God’s wisdom and support. They contain all the words we need to support our faith and when hard times fall on us, as they will, we can rely on his words to sustain us. For these words point us to the one God, who in Jesus Christ, has provided all we could ever need. In our weakness, we rest in his strength.

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