As a homeschool mom of a child with learning disabilities, mainly memory, I would get frustrated when no matter how many times, how many different ways, or how many math videos I showed him, there were times that I wondered what does it take to get this stuck in his head. Now he is in college and taking a developmental math class at his pace. He loves it and can’t get enough of it because it is all about rules. We talked about the rules and why you did things the way it said to do it in the book when he was growing up but it is now making sense to him. UGH!
I am not alone in this frustration. Jesus has spent the past three years teaching His disciples in various ways as to who He is and what He came to do. Now that He has laid it out in plain English, so to speak, they get it and believe in Him. Love His response in John 16:31, “Do you now believe?” I can just hear what is going on in His head. “Now?!?! Really, why were you following Me all this time if you didn’t believe? NOW?!?! Have I been wasting my time with you?”
OK, so He wouldn’t have thought that. However, he knew what they were going to do in a couple hours and told them. They say they believe in Him but when push comes to shove they are all going to leave Him as if He had the plague. Don’t forget what He said Peter was going to do before the rooster crows. Soon no one will be there to support Him in His darkest hours. Wonder how many of them were like Peter in saying that would never happen?
As always He never left them without any hope. The sting of the reality when they would actually leave Him when things got bad would hurt. Let alone the fact that He would soon die on the cross would really send their world into a tailspin. Poor Peter when that rooster would crow in the morning. Then you have the persecution that they would face for His name sake. He needed to give them some encouragement, John 16:33,
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.
What? Jesus had said all this that they can have peace and in the same breath basically says that they will have tribulation. How can there be peace in tribulation?
The key is in the last part of the verse. The Greek word that is translated “take heart” is tharséō, which means to have courage:—be of good cheer (comfort). What will give them that is the fact that He has overcome the world. They will not understand what He means until His resurrection.
We are lucky to be on this side of the cross and know that the power which raised Him from the dead is living within us. We no longer have to stress over what it will take…Jesus has already given us the victory.