John 16:29-33 – His disciples said to him, “Behold, now you speak plainly, and speak no figures of speech. Now we know that you know all things, and don’t need for anyone to question you. By this we believe that you came forth from God.” Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? Behold, the time is coming, yes, and has now come, that you will be scattered, everyone to his own place, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. I have told you these things, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have oppression; but cheer up! I have overcome the world.”
If you have watched the move: “The Passion of the Christ,” you have seen how Jesus was abandoned by all of His followers and left to be mistreated. Jesus was mistreated by everyone, not just the Jews. No one had the courage to treat Jesus with the honor and respect that He deserved, but, instead, chose to fear for themselves and hide.
One of the interesting things about this passage is that Jesus already knew that we would act this way before it happened. He knew that even His disciples were going to abandon Him in His hour of need. Notice how Jesus is quick to remember that He is never alone! This is true of all of us. We are never alone because God lives in us by the Holy Spirit. If we feel lonely, it’s actually a lack of faith.
Jesus tells them that He’s saying these things so that they can have peace. Notice what this says about good leadership. A good leader doesn’t hide bad news but guides his followers through it. This gives followers a true sense of peace because they know the truth about what to expect. Deception is never a good idea because deception always ends at some point, and when that end comes, the people feel even more insecure than had they been told the truth from the beginning.
When Jesus leads us through the bad parts of life, He tells us to “cheer up!” and to focus on the fact that He has “overcome the world.” It’s important for us to tell each other to “cheer up,” but we shouldn’t forget to remind each other why. If the “why” part is missing, then telling people to “cheer up!” is almost like saying: “stop bothering me!” What we should be doing is giving each other hope.
The Bible tells us to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. We need to take them from the weeping to the rejoicing and that will require that we know where to go! Jesus tells us to focus on the fact that He has overcome this world and that’s why we can “cheer up.”
Jesus is the one who shouldn’t have been cheery at this point. He was the one who was about be abandoned and tortured, but He also had the power to keep his mind focused on the hope of the future. Since Jesus lives in us, we can trust that He will give us the power to have hope as we go through the bad times in our lives.