What We Learned Together This Sunday August 13, 2023
And there was a wealthy man [Painting of A Story on Peace] . . A picture of true, perfect peace because it is within the storms of life . . . Peace means a state of rest and satisfaction, a condition that is right and whole, good and safe, pleasant and confident---waters of our heart calm & still. This means there is the condition of untroubled and undisturbed tranquility. Throughout the Bible God describes Himself as the God of Peace. For example, in Isaiah 26:2-4, “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, For in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock.” [Cf. Numbers 6:22-26] And there is also Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” And verse nine also, “As for the things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” [Philippians 4:9] In chapter sixteen of the Gospel of John we have seen already the blessed understandings in these words of Jesus as a fountain of joy. Also in this chapter we have learned about the blessed assurances with the words of Jesus as a garden of peace [ cf. John 16:1, 7, 20, 23, 25, 33]. Today we look at verses 29-33 with our sermon title being A Promise of Peace In Jesus for His Disciples. Last week we studied The Promise of Hope for The Future By Believing What is True According to the Words of Jesus [16:25-28]. In those verses it is shown to us Their Future and The Hope in Him as His Disciples. This week wea re studying verses 29-33 The Promise of Peace In The Present By Experiencing What Is Real According to the Words of Jesus [16:29-33]. In these verses it is shown to us Their Faith and The Peace in Him as His Disciples. So in verse 33 Jesus said, These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace.” And also back in John 14:27 Jesus had said, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” Jesus was fully aware of the impact of this world upon the hearts and minds of His disciples. Where peace is much needed and necessarily is applied in the lives of His disciples.
First, The Disciples of Jesus Proclaiming Their Faith Is Real In What Jesus Has Said and Promised [16:29-30]. In verse 29 we see the Proclaiming Their Faith With Such Confidence. “His disciples said, “behold, now You are speaking plainly. . .” This is in reference to what Jesus previously said in verse 25, “These things I have spoken to you in figurative language.” And there is also verse 28, “I came forth from the Father and have come into the world; I am leaving the world again and going to the Father.” In verse 30 we see the Proclaiming Their Faith By Simple Confession. “Now we know that You know all things . . .” What they believe about Jesus now! And “by this we believe that from God You came forth.” They were believing His words “having caught a glimpse of His meaning (it was nothing more), they eagerly express their satisfaction.” [Cf. John 3:2; 13:3; 16:16-18]. A present active verb used here by the disciples and later verified by Jesus Himself in His prayer [cf. 17:6-8]. But there were also many things left out of their thinking which were troubling them earlier in this chapter in verses 16-18. It is almost as if they were thinking that Jesus was now not going to the Father as they leave those words behind in their words to Jesus. Are you believing the words of Jesus? But how many of His words that very night had they believed? How many of His words are you believing this morning even after all of the messages about His words here in this Upper Room Discourse?
Second, The Lord Jesus Proclaiming His Faithfulness Is Real In What He Will Suffer and Be Victorious [16:31-33]. In verses 31-32 Proclaiming His Faithfulness Because They Will Leave Him. “Jesus answered them, “Do you just now believe?” Different ways this phrase could be translated with a focus on their belief in Jesus according to the words of Jesus. “Now you believe,” or “Now at this time you believe?” or “you believe now?” Jesus would say to us here today, “Do you now believe?” As one commentator wrote, “Their belief in Christ was genuine as far as it went” [A.T. Robertson] So what do you believe about Jesus and what are you believing about Him today and this season in your life? And Jesus continues, “Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come . . .” According to verse 25 nearer draws the matters of that hour for His suffering and death. Again the near and far prophecies of the Lord Jesus in this Upper Room Discourse. Remember the prophecies of Jesus in John 13:21 and John 13:38. He completely understands all that is going to happen as His own words tells us back in John 16:16 “A little while, and you will no longer see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me.” Also Jesus spoke repeatedly about such matters. In John 13:19, “From now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am He.” Also John 14:29, “Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe.” And John 16:4, “But these things I have spoken to you, so that when their hour comes, you may remember that I told you of them.” At the end of verse 32 Proclaiming His Faithfulness Because He Trust in the Father. Here Jesus says, “and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.” Both verbs are in the present tense. Again Jesus states and shows His confidence in the Father. And in His prayer in John chapter seventeen Jesus demonstrates His confidence in the Father.
And finally in verse 33 Proclaiming His Faithfulness Because He Promises Peace [16:33] “These things I have spoken to you . . .” So often repeated emphasis throughout this Upper Room Discourse where Jesus places His words before His disciples [cf. 14:25; 15:3, 11; 16:1, 4, 6, 25]. “ . . . so that in Me peace you may have.” We could define peace as “sit down in one’s heart.” Here the words of Jesus give attention to purpose and what is present with such a personal encouragement. Then Jesus concludes “In the world you have tribulation but take courage; I have overcome the world.” [John 14:1, 27] Here there is a command and a promise. Here this command means “be bold, be confident, be cheerful.” And the promise He has overcome so He gained the victory there is triumph in Jesus because of His resurrection and exaltation. The presence of the Father, confidence in the Son, and dependent upon the Spirit in the lives of His disciples. On that very dark night these words of encouragement bring such light for them there and us here today. The Illustration of “Peace in the Fray.” The world needs the peace of Jesus. What a Christian testimony we can have as disciples of Jesus! So many questions flood our minds and invade our hearts in the tribulations in this world. Such questions as: What will happen next? What could happen now? What will I do because of this? How will this turnout? Why would they do that? Who will do that again to me? Why is this happening? Why is this happening to me? Why is this happening again? The enemy of worry attacks and the army of anxiety surrounds us throughout this battle in the world and there is a fight with the Promise of Peace in Jesus for His disciples.
A song that many of you know which tell us this message. That song is Trust and Obey . . .
When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still And with all who will trust and obey
Trust and obey, for there's no other way To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey
Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies But His smile quickly drives it away
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear Can abide while we trust and obey
Oh, Trust and obey, for there's no other way To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey
Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet Or we'll walk by His side in the way
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go Never fear, only trust and obey
Trust and obey, for there's no other way To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey
Jesus comes to the end of His words in this Upper Room discourse and says to you and me: trust Me and obey Me. We who are disciples of Jesus have and receive what is impossible all alone or on our own The Presence of Jesus and The Excellence of Jesus. We are called upon as disciples of Jesus to believe who Jesus is and what He has done that His words would direct our way in this world. Our Practice and Experience in Jesus. We would truly be Christians even with all of the struggles in this world. The very victorious One would enable and empower our victorious living as His disciples. We have purpose for living this Christian life with these words of Jesus and His promises given to us here. Our Obedience and Peace in Jesus. We as disciples of Jesus give testimony of His faithfulness as our faith is in Him and not ourselves. Our Assurance and Confidence in Jesus. Oh believe in Him as the only hope for salvation! Understanding what Jesus wants to do in our lives as we give testimony of His grace and peace. Believing His words as His disciples that the truth about Him demonstrated in the peace He gives in a world of tribulation. How long would it take for someone to hear about the faithfulness of Jesus in your life? Do you boast of your faithfulness before others without mentioning the faithfulness of Jesus? Dear friends have you put your faith in the faithfulness of Jesus? So that we would believe what is true and experience what is real as His disciples because of His words.
Pastor Timothy J. Atkins
Husband, Father, Grandfather, Pastor, Teacher, Discipler, and Follower of Jesus.