John 16:1-6 – “These things have I spoken to you, so that you wouldn’t be caused to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues. Yes, the time comes that whoever kills you will think that he offers service to God. They will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have told you these things, so that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you about them. I didn’t tell you these things from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have told you these things, sorrow has filled your heart.
This really was a dark time for Jesus’ disciples here on earth. The Holy Spirit had not yet been sent to live in them, and Jesus was talking about leaving them. Now, Jesus adds that they will be “put out of the synagogues” and that “whoever kills you will think that he offers service to God.” That is scary, sad talk.
It is important to remember that, as I mentioned yesterday, the Counselor was coming. This was going to change everything for them. He has a way of keeping our minds in the truth even when bad things happen on the outside.
It’s also interesting to think about the reason that Jesus was speaking these things. He says, “so that you wouldn’t be caused to stumble.” You can imagine how tempting it would be to think that Jesus was displeased because you just got put out of the synagogue or the High Priest wants you dead. Just because these religious leaders were going to be after them doesn’t mean that they were doing anything wrong. In fact, they were doing things right. It would also be very easy to be discouraged when these things happen. It is nice to know that Jesus is still in charge when bad things happen to us. We can take courage in our situations as well. Jesus predicted that things wouldn’t always go well for us, but that we should continue to have faith in Him and look to the future.