TUESDAY, JULY 11 | JOHN 16
Do you ever have those days where you’re lying in bed, comfortable, warm, and cozy, but the light of the morning or the alarm clock is dragging you out? You don’t want to, but you know that it’s important to get out of bed and be productive with your day. Waking up in the morning can be a struggle, but it’s also the only way to experience what that day is going to offer. The disciples have grown quite comfortable being in the presence of Jesus every day. However, their comfort of the physical presence of Jesus is about to change in a drastic way. Read today’s passage to learn about how Jesus is going to use the struggle of losing His physical presence to bring about peace and joy in the lives of all who have faith in Him.
Read John 16:1-11
Jesus comes with some pretty severe warnings for His disciples. Some of the worst persecutions in history were done in the name of God. And yet, those who have persecuted did not truly know God. From the passage, what comfort should the disciples take from the words of Jesus? We can all experience God as God speaks to Jesus who then reveals Himself through the Holy Spirit living within us. This is why prayer, practice of being in the presence of God, is so important.
Read John 16:12-15
Everything that is God can be shown to us through the Holy Spirit. We have the privilege and honor of being in direct connection with the creator of the universe through prayer. We can be comforted, guided, and loved through faith in Christ. The struggle for the disciples is that they had the comfort, guidance, and love in the flesh. Yet, now it was time to let God in the flesh go in order to experience God through the Holy Spirit.
Read John 16:16-18
The blunt response of the disciples is understandable. Jesus is talking about something that hasn’t happened before and will never happen again. It is the unknown. And yet, they believe it and trust that what Jesus is saying is true. When it comes to God, He may sometimes ask us to do things that seem completely unheard of, and yet, if we trust in Him, there is something good coming. Read the next section to see what Jesus says will happen in the disciples current state of grief.
Read John 16:19-24
“Your joy will be complete.” This simple phrase sums up what we can expect when we finally get to see Christ again. Using a metaphor again, the concept of pain in childbirth followed by the joy of being a mother is something that was clearly understood, but had to be applied in a new context. The struggle of studying for a test, but resulting in a good grade can be similar for students. There’s grief followed by joy.
Read John 16:25-33
The fancy language, analogies, and allegories finally stop and Jesus speaks directly to what the disciples need to understand. Looking at the final verse, how does Jesus show the transition from grief to joy? These disciples have been living, eating, and breathing together ever since Jesus called them together. Now, as the time for Jesus to return to heaven comes closer, the disciples will go to their own homes and have to gain strength and support from the Holy Spirit living in them.
You have been living in community in BOS for two and a half weeks already. You’ve been growing spiritually, socially, and biblically. But, with the things that you’re learning, are you looking at ways in which you can use the skills and gifts that God has given you in your life in a daily, practical manner? Are you mentally preparing for grief that will be followed by joy? With your small group, talk about things that are realistically applicable to your life on a daily consistent basis. What things will you need to adapt?