Part 3 of my series on 5 Bible Passages for Times of Crisis takes us to John 14. Jesus is speaking to His disciples at the Passover Seder concerning the upcoming events which will occur later in the week. The disciples are upset and concerned.
Let’s take a look at John 14 starting with verse 27.
“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful." John 14:27 (HCSB)
Here we have Jesus speaking to eleven of His disciples — Judas had already left to betray Him — in the upper room after they had completed the Passover Seder. Earlier that evening, Jesus had taught them about the bread and the wine and how they represented what His body and blood.. Jesus had also told them that His time had come to complete the work of the Father. His disciples were concerned and did not fully understand why Jesus had to die. In verse 27, we see Jesus settling their minds.
In ancient Jerusalem, it was customary to say the word peace (or shalom) whenever taking your leave from someone. This was seen by the people in of that time as passing phrase — similar to how we say goodbye or see you later in today’s culture. It really had no purpose. In this case, however, Jesus stresses to the disciples that His peace is different. He was not saying shalom in passing as the world does. Instead, the peace that Jesus was leaving with His disciples was one of great compassion.
According to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, shalom means completeness, soundness, welfare, peace.
So in times of need, and when you are upset or feeling let down by others, look to Jesus. His peace surpasses every thought.
Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
To complete these thoughts and in closing, let’s look at the last four verses.
"You have heard Me tell you, ‘I am going away and I am coming to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens so that when it does happen you may believe." John 14:28-29 (HCSB)
Imagine sitting on the floor at a low table listening to Jesus and He says I am going away... After following Him for three years and completely missing the fact that Jesus is the Suffering Servant that Isaiah wrote about in Isaiah 53, you too would be confused. Jesus is about to die a horrible and painful death but more than that, the Father would turn His back on Him. Jesus was taking on mankind’s sin for all eternity. All sins ever committed and even those which have yet to be.
As followers of Christ today, we should rejoice to know that Jesus sits on the right-hand side of the Father. He conquered sin and death so that we could have hope.
"I will not talk with you much longer, because the ruler of the world is coming. He has no power over Me. On the contrary, I am going away so that the world may know that I love the Father. Just as the Father commanded Me, so I do."" John 14:30-31 (HCSB)
Jesus wraps up his teaching in the upper room by speaking about the coming of the ruler of the world. Who is the ruler of the world? In the garden, God had placed Adam there and instructed him to work it and watch over it. (Genesis 2:15) God gave Adam dominion over all the Earth however in Genesis 3 we see that Adam and Eve turned away from God and sinned. The ruler of the world is Satan and he is using his power today to influence world events.
Paul calls Satan the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience. (Ephesians 2:1-2 NKJV) His power is great but no greater than God’s.
So the Son (Jesus) sits today on the right-hand side of God the Father watching over His followers. And He did not leave us alone for he sent His Spirit to help guide those who have placed their faith in Him. Have you placed your faith in Jesus today? If yes, proclaim it loudly so that everyone can hear for He is coming again. Not as the suffering Servant but as the Ruler of the world, the Prince of Peace. Amen? Amen.
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