Be Encouraged!

Part 3
In John 16:28, Jesus told His disciples, "I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father."

Jesus Came from the Father

In John 1:1, we read, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

Jesus isn't just the Savior. He is God Himself.

Jesus Came into the World

John 1:14 says, "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth."

Jesus came into this world to show us the Father. John 14:9 says, "Whoever has seen me has seen the Father."

Jesus Left the World

Some believe the words, "I am leaving the world," refer to His ascension, but that wouldn't line up with what Jesus had been talking about. He'd been pointing His disciples to the cross. He told them that He had to suffer and die to atone for the sins of all those who would believe in Him.

When Jesus said, "I am leaving the world," He was talking about voluntarily going to the cross, because the cross was the very reason He came into the world.

In John 3:14, when Jesus was speaking with Nicodemus, He said, "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up."

Jesus Returned to the Father

When Jesus said, "[I am] going to the Father," He was pointing to His resurrection and ascension. The fact that Jesus was raised from the dead proves that God the Father accepted His sacrifice on the cross. Jesus knew the price He paid was sufficient.

Bringing It Together

Who are the recurring characters in the Lord's statement? Jesus and the Father. What's the topic? Salvation. How does knowing God saves us encourage us? We realize the plan of salvation had nothing to do with us. It didn't begin with us. It isn't sustained by us. And it isn't finished by us.

Instead, it has everything to do with the Holy God who, before the foundations of the world, saved us.

Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:4-6, "Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved."

Every bit of our salvation is about Jesus. None of it depends on us. We don't have to be perfect. Instead, God sovereignly saves us. He loves us and shows us mercy.

In Romans 9:15, Paul quotes God speaking to Moses in Exodus 33:19 but applies it to God's saving work. "I [God] will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."

When you fail, be encouraged because Christ will grow you spiritually though it. Be encouraged because you can still pray to the Father. Be encouraged because God loves you. Be encouraged because God saved you when you didn't deserve it. Be encouraged because your peace and hope are in Christ.

John 16:29-30 says, "His disciples said, 'Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.'"

The disciples thought they finally understood what Jesus was saying. Some Bible translations indicate Jesus said, in verse 31, "You believe at last!"

But, in Greek, the sentence ends with a question mark. Jesus isn't making an emphatic statement. He's asking, "Do you now believe?"

Jesus goes on to say, in verse 32, "Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me."

If they understood what Jesus was saying, they would have rejoiced at the work of Jesus on the cross. They would have waited at the tomb, anticipating the stone being rolled away. Instead, they ran away, scared and confused.

In verse 33, Jesus concludes this with a promise: "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."

God has always known everything about us—even before the foundations of the world. He knows about all our sins, even the secret ones we hope no one finds out about. Still, He saved us. He chose us to be His children. He offers us His peace.

There is great encouragement in this passage. Will we fail? Yes. Will we fail so badly that we fear God could never forgive us? Yes. But there is hope and peace.

And that hope and peace are in Christ. If we ask Him to turn our sorrow into joy, to refresh our hope and peace, He will. We can always take refuge in the loving arms of our gracious Savior.