Summary: We often wish Jesus was still here today. We envy the disciples who had God in their presence. They could be with him and talk with him-physically. But here we see Jesus telling them that it’s a good thing that he’s leaving them. Let’s find out why.
“IT IS FOR YOUR GOOD THAT I AM GOING AWAY”
INTRODUCTION: We often wish Jesus was still here today. We envy the disciples who had God in their presence. They could be with him and talk with him-physically. But here we see Jesus telling them that it’s a good thing that he’s leaving them. Let’s find out why.
1) First, the bad news (vs. 1-6).
Jesus had just told his disciples that they were going to be hated and persecuted (15:18-21). They had seen Jesus being mistreated and hated and now they needed to realize that they were going to be treated the same way since Jesus was going to the Father after which the world would turn their aggression towards them. But Jesus had a good reason for giving them this bad news. Jesus wanted to give them fair warning so they wouldn’t go astray. He wanted to reveal these things to them so that when the persecution came they would remember that he warned them. Jesus didn’t want them to be overwhelmed to the point of it diminishing their faith. This is important for us to remember. Some people come to Christ and they think all their troubles will be over. So when they have troubles or face persecution they are blindsided and they begin to question things and question God and they lose faith. But if I become a Christian with the full knowledge that there will be trouble with those who oppose Christ then I can prepare myself for when trouble comes. I might get discouraged but I won’t be taken by surprise and it won’t cause me to give up. “I did not tell you this at first because I was with you”. There was no need for Jesus to tell them before because there were other things to focus on. But now that Jesus will soon be handed over to be executed now was the time to prepare his disciples. Jesus had talked about persecution before but now it was much closer so it was time to speak in specifics rather than generalities. He needed to forewarn them that they were going to be put out of the synagogue and that the enemy would be looking to kill them. Now that Jesus was going to be leaving them they would be the targets of persecution and so now was the time to explain all this so that when that time came their faith would not fail. Vs. 6- “You are filled with grief”. Jesus recognizes that the disciples are grief-stricken over the news of him going away and the hardships they will face. It was a depressing double-whammy. ‘We’re losing our mentor, our leader, our Lord and along with that we’ve got to prepare ourselves for persecution and death’. How easy it would be to go astray! These were some serious persecutions to face. Being put out of the synagogue was no little thing. They wouldn’t be able to go to their place of worship. Beyond that, they would be looked at as outcasts of society. And obviously the threat of death was the most severe persecution of all. But Jesus needed to give them the reality of what was coming. He didn’t sugarcoat it, he didn’t minimize it-he presented the reality. Even though it was bad news it was necessary for Jesus to tell them so they would know what was coming. Sometimes we need to be the bearer of bad news. Sometimes we need to warn people of dangers ahead. No one likes to do that but it’s necessary so that people won’t be in the dark about reality. When we witness to people we need to tell them the bad news-that they’re a sinner and that they’re going to hell. People don’t want to hear that. But it’s necessary information because then when I hear the good news, that Jesus paid the penalty for my sin and that through trusting in him I can be saved, then I will understand. I won’t receive the good news unless I accept the bad news. The truth hurts but being in the darkness hurts more. So, in essence, this bad news was actually good news because it gave them an understanding of the reality they were going to face so they could accept it.