“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 16:33
Jesus has been teaching His disciples and as He is wrapping up this teaching He is literally just moments away from His arrest. Yet He is making this offering of peace to His disciples. They had no idea how much they would need Jesus peace in the coming days. Jesus has been telling them that He would be going away yet they couldn’t grasp all of that in these moments. But along with the offering of Jesus peace, he also tells them that there will be troubles. But that He has overcome the world.
This offering of peace is coming at the same time that Judas is making a deal with Jesus enemies to arrest Him. Jesus would have known all of this. He knew what was coming next. He knew the torture He was about to endure, yet He had peace in the moment and He had peace to give.
The commentary I read made a point I almost missed. Jesus didn’t promise peace, he offered it. The disciples had to take that peace on. This made me stop and think of how many times I don’t live in the peace that Jesus is offering because of my own anxious thoughts. It is mine for the taking because I am His and He is mine. But I have to claim it. I have to choose to live in the peace or to live in the turmoil.
Wouldn’t it be great if life could rock along and we could always live without a worry or a care in the world? But as we talked about yesterday life is not like that. And if it were, our human brains, or at least mine would be waiting for the other shoe to fall so to speak. It seems like if I get too caught up in my thoughts even when things are going good, I am looking for that thing to be worried about.
Jesus tells us in this verse that we will have tribulation in the world. We have the benefit of knowing that when He said these words that the darkest days of history were upon Him. The disciples didn’t have that knowledge when they heard the words. But Jesus proclaimed then, just as we can know now that He has overcome the world. He overcame death that He died on that cross, when He walked out of the grave! And because of that He can make good on that offering of peace!
Jesus doesn’t promise us an easy life. But what He is offering us is peace that can co-exist with our troubles, our sorrows and our hurts. If we just bring all of those things to Him and lay them at His feet and claim the peace that only He can give!