Scripture: John 16:5-17
Focus Verse: “But I tell you the truth: it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. John 16:7 (NIV)
Jesus’ message brings more confusion to the disciples. Their thoughts could have been like the following:
“What is Jesus saying?”
“He keeps telling us he is going away. Now, he tells us he will send someone else in his stead?”
“Do we need someone else, why can’t he stay here?
“”This new person will guide us?”
“He will convict the world?”
“Why does what he says not make sense to us?
Could the disciples be like many 21st Century people? Did they think their group would be together forever?
Several years ago, we had a situation in our family. A young man died from a terrible disease. Most of us knew his outcome would not be what we wanted. His sister drew into herself. I found myself asking her why she seemed so saddened. Her answer—“I just knew the doctors would find a cure for his illness.” This sister was not a believer; therefore, I chose not to tell her that maybe God did heal her brother by taking him home to heaven. Today, I believe she did not realize that we only have a certain God-set time on this earth.
The disciples began grieving as they heard these words from Jesus. They probably could not focus on the words spoken about the Father, “he will never leave you or forsake you.” Deut. 31:6 (NIV)
Another relative grieved prematurely when her older sister was in the hospital. That sister had undergone two Cancer surgeries in less than 10 days. The patient was not rallying. The doctors said she was doing well, in spite of what we saw. The older sister lived nine more years.
The disciples received something we do not always receive about the end of someone’s life. Jesus tried to prepare them for his departure. We don’t always get to prepare ourselves when a loved one passes on to heaven The part we initially find strange is they could not grasp what He was telling them.