The Equipping Peace of Jesus

April 28, 2019 Preacher: Luis A. Cardenas Series: John

Topic: English Passage: John 16:25-33

This morning, we are looking at the final portion of Jesus’ message to His disciples on the night before He was put to death. And as I’ve been saying throughout our studies, Jesus’ goal in this section is to prepare His disciples, not just for the coming sorrow, but for their future ministry in His name.

The most familiar version of the mission of the Apostles and the church comes to us in the closing verses of Matthew’s gospel. We call that The Great Commission.. The mission of the church is to proclaim the saving truth of Jesus Christ. And that means evangelizing those outside the church and discipling those inside the church. That’s what it means to “make disciples.” Those who convert are baptized, and those who are already converted are instructed even more.

That’s the mission of the church, not just in the first century, but in every century since. That’s why Jesus said, “I am with always, to the end of the age.” The mission of the church doesn’t end until this age is over.

The Apostles had a unique role to play in that, but so do you and I. And so, as we look at this final passage, I want you to be thinking about it from that angle.

Jesus is not just preparing His Apostles for their mission in the world; He’s preparing you and me for our part in the mission as well.

The Great Commission is a broad mission, but each of us has a more specific part to play in it. If you’re a parent, Christ’s mission includes raising your children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. If you’re a child, it includes submitting to your parents. For all of us, Christ’s mission includes submitting to the authorities God has placed in our lives. And for all of us, that mission includes loving one another and loving our enemies.

What that means specifically in your life is something God will work out. But He has placed you in the time and the place and the situation you’re in for His glory. Don’t forget that. This is why you’re here—to reach people with the truth of Jesus Christ, for the glory of God.

Jesus wants you to be ready to accomplish that mission. Jesus wants you to succeed. And what is it that you and I need to be successful and faithful in our mission? What is it that Jesus wants to give us?

If you study Jesus’ message to the disciples that night, you might find various answers to that question. But as we come to the conclusion, I think it’s so interesting to find that Jesus boils it down to one thing—one attribute Jesus wants to make sure His disciples have. And that is peace. Jesus wants to give His disciples peace. That’s what you and I need—peace.

Again, this is not just a message of comfort; it’s a preparatory message. And so this is an equipping peace. It’s an empowering peace. Because this is an equipping message.

When people talk about peace today, even from a Christian perspective, it often sounds like the goal is simply to have some kind of restful state of mind, to be free from any kind of aggravation or nuisance.

But Jesus’ message here isn’t aimed at a life free from danger, or free from pain. His aim is an effective life, a life that fulfills God’s calling upon it.

Let’s read the passage to start, and then we’ll look a little more closely at it. JOHN 16:25-33.

The closing verse of the chapter clearly tells us that Jesus wants His disciples to have peace through Him. I’m not sure what topic I would have chosen if I had to give the disciples a final message, but Jesus chose to talk about peace.

If you skip back in your Bible to the beginning of chapter 14, you’ll see that the opening line is “Let not your heart be troubled.” A troubled heart is the opposite of peace. That’s what Jesus wants to avoid.

The disciples are going to feel like abandoned orphans, but Jesus wants to reassure them. He wants them to have peace.

Verse 27 of chapter 14 says, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

The opening verse of chapter 16 says, “I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away.” Jesus wants them to stay faithful. And in order to keep them from straying from the truth, He wants to give them peace. That’s what you and I need. We need peace.

We’re going out into a world where living by faith rather than sight is not easy. It’s not easy to fight sin every day. It’s not easy to face a culture or a person who is opposed to the message of Jesus. It’s not easy to live in a world that wants to draw your attention and interest to anything other than Jesus Christ.

And maybe we don’t think about it like this at times, but one of the major hindrances to our mission is a lack of peace.

Temptations to sin, we could say, comes from a lack of peace. We want something for ourselves that God has said we cannot have at that moment. And out of the fear of missing out on something, we sin.

Or, in terms of evangelism, we want to maintain a certain level of respect or admirability. We don’t want the awkwardness that comes from talking about faith in our culture. Those types of thoughts disturb our peace.

The path to genuine peace, however, never comes from disobeying God. It comes from going back to the truth of Jesus Christ. And the truth we have from Jesus is so simple.

The culture likes to complicate things in an effort to elevate itself, but God makes things so simple. In Second Corinthians 11:3, Paul says this: “Just like the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, I am afraid that your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”

Following Christ may not be easy, but it is simple. It’s not complicated. The world may ridicule us for our simplicity, but that is the path to peace. And that’s the path to being faithful and effective for our mission.

So, how do we get peace? How do we confront the uneasiness or the sorrow of whatever it is that we’re facing? That’s what Jesus gives us, as His disciples, in the closing portion of His message.

This morning, we’re going to look at 4 sources of our peace—4 sources of our peace in Christ. And they’re all related to the confidence we have in our faith.

The first source is this: Peace comes from the certainty of the Father’s love.

The certainty of the Father’s love

Look at verses 25-27 with me. In verse 25, Jesus says: I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father.

What is that talking about? It’s talking about a shift that going to happen. It’s a shift we’ve already talked about in this section. Something is going to change with regard to the disciples’ relationship with Jesus Christ and with the Father.

The particular aspect of that shift that Jesus is talking about here is revelation and understanding. The disciples are going to have a relationship with God that they have never had before. They’re going to understand Him.

Jesus describes it here as a change in the way He speaks. When He talks about “figures of speech,” I think He’s talking about, not just the message that night, but about His entire teaching ministry, both in public and in private. A figure of speech is a message that isn’t completely literal or completely direct. And, as a result, it isn’t completely understood.

We’ve seen that all throughout John’s gospel. Jesus talked about things that the crowd, or the Jewish leaders, or even His disciples, didn’t fully understand.

In chapter 1, Jesus told Nathanael, “You will see the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

In chapter 2, Jesus said He would rebuild the Temple in 3 days. In chapter 3, He told Nicodemus that he needed to be born again. And He said that the Son of Man must be lifted up. They didn’t understand all that.

In chapter 4, Jesus told the Samaritan woman about living water. And He told his disciples that He had food to eat that they didn’t know about. Those were statements that they didn’t fully understand at first. That’s kind of how Jesus talked at times.

Sometimes, His parables and His analogies helped make a lesson more clear, and sometimes they made things fuzzy. At one point in Matthew 13, the disciples even ask Jesus, “Why do You speak to the people in parables?” Because it says He didn’t speak to them without a parable.

Speaking in figurative language was a form of judgment on the unbelieving people. They rejected the truth, so they wouldn’t get anymore. It might also be seen as a form of mercy, since they won’t be condemned for what they don’t understand.

But speaking in figurative terms also meant that the disciples struggled to understand what Jesus was saying sometimes. In Luke 18, Jesus tells them that He’s going to be handed over to the Gentiles and mocked and killed and them on the third day rise again. And then it says the disciples understood none of these things.

More recently, we also had Jesus’ statement about a disciple betraying Him. And then He dismissed Judas. And again, the disciples didn’t have a clue what was happening. That’s because of how Jesus spoke many times.

But very soon, that’s going to change. “The hour is coming” says Jesus. That’s talking about His death, and then His resurrection, and then the coming of the Holy Spirit. Something is going to change. And rather than feel confused about what Jesus taught, they will have a certainty.

And that certainty will come from their direct connection to the Father. Look at verse 26—In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf;

We talked about this last week too. It’s not that the disciples are going to talk to Jesus and then Jesus talks to the Father for them. Rather, in the name of Jesus Christ, by virtue of His sacrifice, they will have direct access to the Father in Jesus’ name.

Ephesians 2:18 says through Jesus we all have our access to the Father. Ephesians 3:12 says in Christ we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.

We don’t need anything else to get to God. The sacrifice and the work of Jesus is enough. We are God’s children by our faith and by our turning to Him in repentance.

Because of what Jesus has done, Hebrews 4:16 calls us to draw near with confidence to the throne of grace. Hebrews 10:19 says we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus.

We have an access that no one had before. even the Israelites were separated from God to some degree. Only the High Priest could enter into the Most Holy Place. They needed a priest to stand between them and God.

Well, now we know who our Priest is, right? It’s Jesus. By dying for our sins, Jesus has reconciled us to the Father. He paid the price, and the Father receives us.

And what Jesus wants to remind His disciples about is that this new access, this new revelation and understanding about the Father, is not simply mediated through the Holy Spirit and the work of Christ, it’s the expression of the love of the Father.

Look at verse 27. This is the explanation. Why will the disciples have direct access to the Father? Verse 27—for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.

God is not obligated to teach you or hear your prayers. But He loves to do so. He loves you, because you belong to Him. That should be such an encouragement and such am impetus for our mission.

If you and I recognize that God loves us, and has made Himself known to us, and has given us direct access to Himself, why would we not want to share that with somebody else?

Does God speak to you during the week? Do you ever get any messages that are clearly from the Father? I hope you do. I get one every time I open my Bible. This is God’s word, given by His Sprit. And that same Spirit within me enables me to understand it and apply it to my life. God is speaking. And He minister to us this way because He loves us. And in the same love, He hears us when we pray. That’s an expression of God’s love.

No matter what things might look like or feel like to you, you can have the peace that comes from a certainty of God’s love.

If you love Jesus, as imperfect as that love is, the Father loves you with a perfect love. Because you’ve been united to Jesus.

If you are visiting today, and you don’t know what the message of Jesus, here is what’s so important to know. God doesn’t accept people because of who they are. He forgives and cleanses people because of who He is, and because of what He has done in Jesus Christ.

The Christian message is not about trying to be good enough for God to accept you. It’s about surrendering your life to Jesus Christ, who died and rose again, recognizing that your only hope of salvation is through Him.

And as an expression of His patient love toward you, God is calling you to turn from your sin and place your faith in Jesus Christ. That is the only way to be saved. Don’t trust in any of your good deeds. Don’t trust in anybody else’s faith to save you. Trust in Jesus Christ.

If you do that, God will grant to You His eternal, unending love. And you will have eternal life, which means direct access, and an intimate relationship with the God who made You.

More important that any worldly peace is peace with God. And until you have peace with God, you will never have the peace of God. Apart from faith in Jesus Christ, you are an enemy of God. And God is patient with His enemies. He extends love to them. But that patient love will end one day. But His eternal love toward His children will never end.

Make peace with God through with Jesus and you will have a peace that comes from the certainty of the Father’s love for you.

For those us who have trusted in Jesus, and who have joined His glorious mission, there’s a second source of peace in this passage. Here’s what it is. It’s the peace that comes from the certainty of the Son’s identity.

The certainty of the Son’s identity

This is part of the gospel message. The end of verse 27 says the disciples love Jesus and believe that He came from God. That’s talking about His divinity. Jesus is God in human flesh. He came as the perfect representative of the Father.

The dividing line over Jesus was whether or not someone received Him for who He claimed to be. He was the Messiah, the One who would fulfill everything they expected God to do for His people and for all creation.

Jesus summarize who He is in verse 28—I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.

You remember back in chapter 10, when Jesus said, “I and the Father are One.” He came from the Father, and He is going back to the Father.

Jesus is the Creator of the world. He is the One who forgives sin. He is the Good Shepherd. He is the Redeemer. He is the Judge of the world. He is the commander of the angels. Those are all titles or roles given in the Old Testament to Jehovah God, and Jesus says they describe Him as well.

Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath. He gives His people rest. He gives life. Nobody but God could say those things. And that’s exactly what Jesus said. That’s why the Jews put Him to death.

We recognize that the Trinity is mysterious. And we recognize that there’s a mystery as to how Jesus can be fully man and fully God. But despite the mysteries, we should have the confidence of knowing that Jesus is God in human flesh.

That’s what John 1 tells us. The word who made the world came into the world. He became flesh and dwelt among us. He came into this world to save sinners—to glorify the Father by bringing about redemption.

The true identity of Jesus has been a dividing line ever since Jesus came. Matthew chapter 2 tells us that the wise men, the astrologers from the east came to Jerusalem. Why did they come? They came to worship Jesus. That’s what the Bible says. That baby was worthy of worship.

And throughout the rest of the gospels you have that same word used repeatedly for how people responded to Jesus. He received worship. Hebrews 1:6 says God calls the angels to worship Him.

And yet, in the book of Revelation, the Apostle John gets scolded by he falls down to worship an angel. And the angel says, “Don’t do that. Worship God.”

So, we’re only supposed to worship God, and yet Jesus receives worship. Why is that? Jesus already gave them the answer, back in John 5:23. God wants all to honor the Son. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

The teaching of the Bible, and the teaching of Jesus is that He was the eternal Son of God, worthy of all glory and worship, just like the Father.

And you can look around at the other so-called “Christian” groups who deny the deity of Christ. These are groups who claim that Jesus was created at some point in time, that He had a beginning. That includes Jehovah’s Witnesses or the Mormons. And maybe, after seeing how wealthy those groups are, or how organized they are, you’re tempted to think, “Maybe we got it wrong.”

But we don’t have it wrong. The Apostle John knew that. Later in 1 John 2:23 he wrote: “Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.” Well, nobody was denying that Jesus existed. They were denying that Jesus was in fact God in human flesh, which is exactly what Colossians 1:19 and 2:9 say. The fullness of deity dwelt in Him. There is nothing of what it means to be God that Jesus is not.

That’s our confidence. That’s our peace. We know who Jesus really is. We have it right. He is the eternal, uncreated Son of God, worthy of our worship.

And the disciples immediately respond to Jesus’ words in verse 29—His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! 30Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.”

They get it. They understand that Jesus is not some other Jewish teacher. He came from God, from the Father. Not as an angel, but as God Himself. And so they make this confession.

And since Jesus is God, they recognize the attribute of omniscience. They admit that He is all knowing. He knows everything because He’s God. He knows what you need or what you want before you ask Him. That’s why they say He doesn’t need anyone to question Him or to ask Him anything. He knows the answer before they even ask the question. He is God.

So, here are the disciples saying: “Oh… we get it Jesus. We know who you are. You came from the Father. You know what He knows. You know everything. We believe in you.”

On the one hand, it’s a confident expression of their faith. But one the other hand, it’s a little premature. Because their faith isn’t very strong at this point, right? They are going to be scattered. And Jesus know this.

And that’s why we have the rhetorical question in verse 31—Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.

Jesus doesn’t congratulate them for a strong expression of faith. Like the song we sing, Jesus is saying to them, “Thy strength indeed is small.”

Well, why would He say that? It sounds like a rebuke. And from one perspective it might be. There’s a sting to what He says. But remember, verse 33 says He said these things to give them peace. Where’s the peace here?

Here’s the peace in that statement. This is our third. Peace comes from the certainty of the Father’s Love. It comes from the certainty of the Son’s identity, and thirdly, peace comes from the certainty of the Father’s plan.

The certainty of the Father’s plan

If Jesus promised had promised them all the good things He had promised them—like the love of the Father and the coming of the Spirit—but never mentioned they would be scattered, the disciples might be tempted to think that the promises were based on how good they were.

And then, when they messed us big time, they might think that God’s plan had changed. Maybe God would take it back because of their sin.

Some promises that are made have unspoken conditions. That hold true for us, and it’s true for God too.

For example, in Jeremiah 18 God says: If at any time, I say that I’m going to destroy a nation, but then that nation repents, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to bring. And if there’s a nation that I say I’m going to bless, but it does evil, then I will relent of the good that I was intending to do for it.

That’s not God being unfaithful to His word. That’s God being faithful to His character. Some promises He makes are eternal. They’re unconditional. They’re unilateral. But some aren’t.

For example, God’s message via Jonah to Nineveh was: “Forty days and Nineveh will perish.” But it didn’t happen, because the city changed. They repented. So the message, to a certain extent, depended on the response of the city.

Well, the promises that Jesus made to His disciples about the love of the Father, and the gift of the Spirit, what kind of promises are they? Do they depend on the disciples? No. They don’t. That’s the comfort here. There’s a peace in the certainty of the Father’s plan. Even though they’ll be scattered, and even though God knows it’s going to happen, He still makes them these promises. God’s eternal plan hasn’t changed.

That’s the reassurance of the end of verse 32. Jesus says: “When you all leave, I’m going to be left alone. But that’s okay. The Father is still with me. Your sin and your failures haven’t messed with God’s plan.”

Now, isn’t that a message of peace for you and me? It’s a reminder of God’s sovereignty. He rules over every decision we make, even the foolish and sinful ones. We can’t mess up God’s plans.

Sin can bring conviction. Sin can lead to God’s discipline. But sin can never undo the eternal promises and plan of God.

Listen, we’re trying to live for Jesus Christ. We’re trying to do our part in this great mission for the glory of God. But we’re still battling our sin. And we’re still battling a sinful world. And we’re still dealing with the army of Satan. And that means, we’re going to mess up. You’re going to sin. You’re going to blow it.

All of us are going to mess up in a major way sometimes. And it’s going to hurt. But even in those difficult times, we can be restored to Christ and go back to the mission because we know that sin cannot thwart the plan of God. We have the peace of the certainty of the Father’s plan.

And where can we look for the clearest expression of God’s sovereignty over evil? Where do we see that? We see it in the cross of Jesus, and in the Resurrection. Jesus triumphed over sin and death. Jesus gets the last laugh.

Look at verse 33. And this’ll be our final point. Verse 33 says—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.

Here’s point number 4. You and I, as disciples of Jesus, can have peace because of the certainty of the Son’s victory.

The certainty of the Son’s victory

In this world, we will have… what? What does verse 32 say. We will have tribulation. That’s a very strong word. Literally the word is talking about when something is pressed or smashed. Figuratively, the word means anguish, pain, affliction, oppression, distress. That’s what’s waiting for us in the world. This world is burdensome.

The peace of Jesus Christ doesn’t mean we’re going to get to avoid all that. But even in the midst of the most severe affliction we have the confidence that we will have the final victory.

It’s just a simple analogy, but I thought I’d share it with you. God gave me a small picture of this on Friday night, with my son’s soccer team. Our team fell behind, and we trailed for a good chunk of it. I think we were down by 1 goal with about 5 minutes left. This is indoor soccer, so we’ve got a scoreboard and a clock that’s counting down. And you could see the tension in the parents faces.

But one the kids scores a goal with about one minute left. And we tied. And then, with about 10 seconds, we get one final goal. And we win the game. What a fun game!

Do you think any of the parents on our team would want to go back and relive those final 5 minutes again? After knowing what was going to happen? Of course they would! And they would see it all in such a different light. Because they would know the end already.

That’s what Jesus is giving His disciples here. He’s telling them the end already. Call it a spoiler if you want, but Jesus is making sure His disciples know that no matter what happens in this life, Jesus has overcome the world.

In other words, Jesus wins. And for everyone who is united to Jesus, we win too. We win. Jesus has overpowered Satan and the world and the flesh. Jesus has guaranteed the victory. And He proved it by rising from the dead on the third day.

Sin has been forgiven. Satan has been defeated. And those who are Jesus’ side will be victorious. Satan and his followers will be cast into the lake of fire forever. But those who trust in Christ will, like Him, be resurrected in glory and brought into a new heavens and a new earth.

The Apostle John loves this word “overcome.” In total, the word is used in 24 different Bible verses. Twenty-two of those are in books written by John.

The Greek verb “to overcome” is nikáo. The noun, which means “victory,” is niké. That’s where they got the word Nike. So if you ever want to picture the Apostle John, put a pair of Nikes on him. Because He loves that word.

Five times in First John, and numerous times in Revelation, Christians are described as those who overcome. Christians are the ones who will be victorious. Because our Lord has already been victorious. We win because Jesus wins.

Does that empower you to continue in the mission of God? Does that give you peace in whatever you’re facing? I hope so.

More in John

November 24, 2019

Jesus Restores Peter

November 10, 2019

A Miraculous Catch

October 27, 2019

Believe the Signs