Summary: This is the end of the upper room discourse
The end of the message John 16:23-33
One guy said, “I’m really concerned about my wife. She walks around the house talking to herself all day long.” His friend asked, “Does she know you can hear her?” He said, “That’s the funny part. She thinks I’m actually listening.” Well, I’m certainly glad that none of us are like that.
I had an interesting conversation with Herb this morning. He said, "Lois and I had a really big fight last night." And I said, “So, how did it end up?" And he said, "She came crawling to me on her hands and knees like she always does." And I asked, "And what did she say?" And Herb said, she said, "Come out from under that bed, you coward!" Everybody has their own way of dealing with conflict.
And I’m a bit conflicted because here we are at the end of Jesus conversation with His disciples and although I’ve taken my time going through this I feel as though I’ve only scratched the surface.
When we began this particular section which is known as the upper room discourse in chapter thirteen, Jesus and His disciples were in an upper room which would have been a large upstairs room that was usually rented out on special holidays to visiting families or groups that came to the city to honor the special holy days that were on the religious calendar. So, Jesus and His disciples would have come here, to have a special meal where each and every little bit of the food they ate had something to do with what God did for His people during the night of their deliverance from the Egyptians.
And God wanted the meal itself to be a teaching tool where the head of the home would share what the scriptures had to say about the very first Passover. And in this passage it’s assumed that they had done all that but after it was done then Jesus took the time to give His disciples a special message.
And the message He gave begins in chapter 13 and it ends in chapter 17 and as I said it’s the longest message that He ever gave. And it’s commonly referred to as the upper room discourse and as I told you it’s called that because that was where He gave it. And just think, this message was given to twelve men in a rented room and it’s gone all around the world throughout the generations.
I was thinking about other great messages that have been given throughout history. There’s the Gettysburg address which Abraham Lincoln gave on November 19, 1863. It was one of the most famous and oft quoted speeches of all time and it was given at a dedication of the Civil War cemetery. It was fewer than three hundred words and they said he delivered it in less than two minutes. It began with “four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” And they say he wrote it on the train on the way up.
And then there was Martin Luther King, Jr. who stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in August 1963 and he delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech and it’s considered to be one of the most-recognized speeches in American history. Then there was the message by Winston Churchill who challenged the people to join him in the war effort when he offered them nothing but “blood sweat and tears.” Or Ronald Reagan when he spoke in Berlin and said those famous words, “Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” And then there was the speech delivered at Roosevelt’s inauguration in Washington on March 4 1933 where he said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” You see, all of these were important speeches in their day and they’re all relevant to the modern mind but Jesus’ message to His disciples wasn’t just talking about the things of time but His message reverberates right into eternity.
And so, what Jesus was trying to do in this passage was to prepare His disciples for what was about to happen which was His arrest, the false accusations, the needless torture, His death and then His resurrection. And then secondly, He was laying the groundwork for the church. And when I say church I’m referring to the local assemblies of believers like this one, the invisible church that exists all over this world today and the universal church that has continued nonstop throughout the ages and this refers to every believer from those who were present at Pentecost to those who will be raptured.