Lent Devotional: John 16:25-33

by Jonathan Haefs

John 16:25-33 (click here to read the entire passage)
“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. 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.” (John 16:32-33)

Reflection
My kids sat on the edge of their seats as the world of Fantasia was being destroyed right before their eyes.

I had decided to show them what any self-respecting 80’s kid would call a cinema classic… The NeverEnding Story.

The basic plot is about a boy, Bastian, who reads a book about the world of Fantasia… and the lines between fantasy and reality get blurred as the world of Fantasia is being destroyed and Bastian is the only one who can save it.

And as Fantasia is destroyed, and tensions mount, it looks like all hope is lost. It gets super intense and emotional for little kids.

You 80’s children know what I’m talking about… “Bastian, call my name!”

Anyway, the point is that as my kids grew nervous and tense… I was totally calm and at peace. Why? Because I’m an unfeeling, unemotional, callous monster? No! Because I knew what is coming.

I knew the end.

This is the logic of Jesus in John 16. He tells his disciples about a coming hour of difficulty and suffering… and then actually dares to claim that he has told them all of this SO THAT they may have peace! How is that supposed to work? How is telling them that they will experience suffering supposed to give them peace amidst their suffering?

It works… because Christ tells them and us the end.

We know the end.

“In the world you will have tribulation. BUT take heart; I have overcome the world.” Christ has overcome the world and he will set all wrongs right! We know the end! And so we can have peace even as our world goes through a pandemic and things seem so uncertain… we know the end!

The end is redemption… reversal… resurrection!

That is the same ending that gave me peace on the couch as I watched Fantasia fall apart… I knew that redemption, reversal, and resurrection were coming. I knew that Bastian would not only save Fantasia, but he would be given the ability to reverse all the destruction and death it has experienced. He will bring it back perfectly and so I had perfect peace.

We can have peace to… because we know the end.

*All previous devotionals may be found at www.thejoyofglory.com
*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.