‘Last Supper Lessons’ Meditations: 30. Jesus the Overcomer
Jn 16:33b “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
So we come to the end of this discourse where we might expect a final word of encouragement, and what do we find? “You will have trouble”! But therein is reality and I find Christians are often not very good at reality. We need reminding again and again that we live in a ‘fallen world’ where Sin has its impact both on individuals and on the physical planet. Things ‘go wrong’ illnesses occur, accidents occur, and often people are ‘not nice’!
So, a final word about the reality of this existence within ‘The Big Picture’. First you WILL have trouble because as we’ve just said it’s a fallen world, don’t deny it. But this is not to mean that we should go around expecting the worst and anticipating things going wrong; they probably won’t, it’s just that sometimes they do.
In a world that is running amok we need to remind ourselves that we are part of ‘another kingdom’, one where peace, joy, goodness and blessing prevail. THAT is the truth. Now in our verse above, Jesus says ‘take heart’, take comfort, regain your confidence, i.e. don’t scabble around in the gutter of gloom and doom in the world. Why can he say that to us?
Jesus has overcome the world: he’s about to take the worst they can throw at him, he will turn it to good as he satisfies justice on our part, and he will rise from the dead! He IS in control!!!! Get that well and truly anchored in your understanding. And then “take heart” i.e. be picked up by that truth, be encouraged and strengthened by it. If sometimes life seems momentarily like being in a storm on a lake, that’s all right, we’re designed to ‘walk on water’ when we need to!!!!!!!! HE is in control; rest in that. So remember some of the things we have picked up on in these chapters.
We’re called to be humble and servant-hearted, having a sacrificial love for one another, being confident in God’s love for us because He knows the worst about us and still loves us, so that when we let him down, He restores us and draws us near to Him again; the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all working on our behalf to enable us to live fruitful lives as we seek to remain close to Jesus, seeking to catch his heart and the Father’s will as the Spirit prompts, empowers, reveals, teaches and guides us. And above all, facing the Cross, Jesus knew the ‘Big Plan’ and committed himself to us, however tough it was going to be. His example, his grace, his commitment, all stand there for us to follow and emulate. May it be so.