In John chapter sixteen Jesus continues His farewell address to the disciples. He told them that they would get run out of the synagogues. The synagogue was a place of community and belonging. As we have seen with Jesus healing the blind man (John 9), that the Jews ran out of the synagogue because of belief in Jesus. Following Jesus sometimes will cost us relationships because those that don’t believe the truth, don’t want to be around the truth. Not only would they kicked out of the synagogues but people would even kill them thinking that they were doing a service to God. We believe that all of the disciples except John were martyred for preaching the gospel in various parts of the world.
Throughout this chapter, Jesus told the disciples that they would have sorrow but only for a little while. Jesus also tells them that it is good He is going away so that He could send the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, to them. The Holy Spirit would convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. We learn that the Holy Spirit is responsible for leading us into all truth.
This is an important chapter because Jesus is telling the disciples that life is going to get hard for them, but that they should be courageous. Jesus is not preaching that follow me and life is going to be great, but instead follow me and you will suffer, but yet you will have peace.
“I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have co” John 16:33 HCSB ( https://www.bible.com/72/jhn.16.33.hcsb )
This is the opposite of what many hear on regular basis at church and on the internet. The message that many hear today is that come and Jesus will give you everything you want. You can command blessings into existence if you have enough faith. If you pray for something they believe it is so; live like it is so and it will be. Never mind if it is God’s will for your life, as long as you have “enough faith” you will get it. This is the message of the prosperity gospel, which is not the true gospel. The true gospel is the message of Jesus Christ.
It should be made clear that suffering does not equal holiness. I pray and know that all of us are blessed by God. Being blessed by God doesn’t mean that you are necessarily going to have health and wealth. It could mean that you will not have those things, but you will have peace. Jesus said told the disciples, and us, these things so that we would have peace. Jesus also said that you will have suffering in this life. Suffering is a natural part of living in a fallen world. We all are going to suffer the loss of those we love. Many will have other tragedies accrue in their lives. God’s promise isn’t that you wouldn’t suffer, but that while suffering you would have peace. Peace of being in the presence of God. We can have this peace amid suffering because Jesus has conquered the world.
We will conquer the world because Jesus has conquered the world. Suffering isn’t fun, it hurts and it can be a heavy burden in our lives. We have the Holy Spirit that will help us in this life. So in the words of Jesus, “Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”