Be Courageous

John 16:31-33

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In John chapter 16 Jesus is speaking to his disciples before he’s about to enter into his passion. And he says these words verses 31 through 33.

“Now do you believe? Listen, a time is coming, in fact it is here, when you will be scattered, everyone to his own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not going to be alone, because the Father is with me. I have told you these things, so that you may have peace in me. In this world you are going to have trouble. But be courageous! I have overcome the world.”

(John 16:31-33)

Those are quite striking words in our text for today. Especially those words that say that there is going to come a time when you will be scattered, everyone to his own home. We know Jesus of course is talking about his disciples leaving him because they’re filled with fear over what’s going to happen to them. What the Jews are going to do to them, or the Romans.

We think about those words though, today. Maybe how us as Christians have also been scattered on account of fear. Filled with so much fear concerning this virus. What is it going to do to us? And to our bodies? What’s it gonna do to our loved ones and friends and what about other people? We want to protect them to. It caused us to be scattered.

But Jesus testifies to his disciples that as he enters into his passion that ‘you will leave me all alone.’ Now, during a time like this as we have been scattered to our homes to some extent, separated from fellow Christians in our regular way of worship, God yet invites us not to leave him all alone. He invites us to stay close to him and his word.

I fear as the weeks and months have dragged on so long, are we still staying close to Jesus? Back in March when many of our churches shut their doors we encouraged our people stay connected to the church, stay connected to God’s Word through regular devotion and Bible study, and in watching our services online. As things have gone on are we still continuing to do that or have we kind of gotten to this habit of not going to church? And maybe, not even watching online anymore?

God even encourages you to repent. To confess your sin to him. To come back to him. To know that he is your source of comfort especially during this time of trouble.

That’s the final thing Jesus reminds his disciples of in our lesson for today. He reminds them that in the world they’re going to have trouble. Right? In this world you’re going to have trouble. He says there. We could see it in our own lives too just because we’re Christians doesn’t mean that our lives are trouble free, it doesn’t mean that we’re immune to corona virus, right? Or its effects. We’re gonna have trouble. We’re gonna have problems and maybe at times even more so because of being a Christian.

But Jesus ensures his disciples, be courageous I have overcome the world. During this time when we were filled with so much fear and we’re separated from each other he invites us be courageous. We have every reason not to be afraid but have courage because Jesus has overcome the world. He’s overcome the greatest forces that the world holds against us: the threat of disease, the threat of death itself. Jesus has overcome those things every evil, every sin overcome in Christ and he has promised to give us everlasting life. So at such a time as this don’t depart from your lord rather stay close to the one who has overcome the world for you and for me and promises eternal life for you. Amen.

Let us pray.

Dear Lord, give us courage during this time, this time of so much fear and uncertainty. Draw us closer to you and to your word through the many ways it is offered to us. Comfort us that you have overcome the world and even our worst enemies of sin and death through Jesus Christ, amen.