In today’s Gospel, from John 16:29-33, we witness Jesus having a discussion with His Apostles. I love this passage because of the Apostle’s presumption of understanding. They think that they know all there is to know. What they do know is that Jesus came from God, and they think that is all there is to know. Yet, Jesus tries to tell them otherwise, by first asking a question: Do you believe me now? (John 16:31). For it is through faith, that we find full understanding of God.
Oh, how I can relate to the Apostles! I can’t tell you the number of times that I think I have it all figured out, only to learn later that God thinks otherwise. As with the Apostles in their day, we, too, need to come to grips with the fact that we don’t know everything. Only God is omniscient. Only God can see the future.
Yet, even with the Apostle’s inadequate, or incomplete understanding, Jesus is patient. He enlightens the Apostles by informing them as to what will happen when He is crucified. They will scatter. Yet, to give them comfort in facing this hard truth, He tells them:
I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world (John 16:33).
Believe in the Unseen
If we were to take this passage and bring it forward to the 21st century, and if Jesus were standing in front of you today, what would be your response to His question: Do you believe me now?
Would you say, “Yes, Lord, I believe.” Can you answer this way, without full knowledge and understanding? Is your faith strong enough to believe without seeing? If not, what reassurances do you need from God to believe? I think He provides the answer in the closing verse: take courage, I have conquered the world.” Notice the past tense to this phrase. Jesus’ conquering of the world is already done at the moment that He speaks of what will happen in the future. Wrap your brain around that!
Today, ask for increased Faith, Courage, Knowledge and Understanding – all worthy virtues to possess. Then when Jesus asks, “Do you believe me now?” you will be able to confidently answer, “Yes, Lord. I believe.”
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