Jesus knew that his followers would scatter. Even though they believe that he is from God, Jesus knows that once he is arrested, they will scatter and abandon him. Two things flow out of this realization: the Father’s presence and the power of Jesus overcoming the world.
30 Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.”
31 “Do you now believe?” Jesus replied. 32 “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
The first truth in Jesus’ words to his followers is that the Father was with Jesus throughout his ordeal. Yes, on the cross there is a moment in which Jesus experienced the full weight of all of our sin and the forsaking of the Father. He cried out in that moment. Up to then, however, angels were around him (Luke 22:43) and the Father was with him.
The other reality is that Jesus knows his followers are weak in constitution. He knows they are fickle. He gets that they will scatter. Their strength as Apostles comes with the Holy Spirit. From the indwelling of the Spirit onward, the disciples will go to the wall and to the grave for the sake of Jesus.
He wants them to have peace about this – they will have trouble in the world, yet Jesus has overcome the world. Now, what is interesting to me is that he overcame the world in the sense of defeating sin through his death on the cross. The power of that defeat and the power of the resurrection was visited on the Apostles at Pentecost.
And so when they betray him and flee, they are not yet clothed with power from on high (Luke 24:49). So no wonder they scatter. Which brings me back to me. I live post-Pentecost. I live with the power. I don’t have the excuse. And I should not have peace when I scatter.
How about you? Shouldn’t our allegiance to the one who made us and sent his son to die for us, and who gave us the powerful comforter Holy Spirit to indwell us be greater than the repetitive action of scattering?
I want to live as an overcomer today, following my Lord who overcame the world for me…