Todays readings.. 2Chronicles 14&15, Ezekiel 47, John 15&16
“DO YOU NOW BELIEVE?”
“Do you now believe?” is the question Jesus asked his disciples after they had declared, “Now 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.” [John 16 v.30] The last verse in this chapter provides much food for thought; Jesus tells his disciples, “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.” There is much ‘food’ for meditation here – and the 18th chapter – which we will read on Sunday – describes the arrest of Jesus by a band of soldiers and its’ effect on his disciples! Jesus prays for them.
In Luke’s gospel we read how Jesus tells Peter, “I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”[22 v.32] Faith may falter, but our Lord will be there to strengthen, let us be sure we believe this
We sense that our world is facing increasing tribulation, the news media appears to be trying to camouflage how serious are the situations that are developing in a multitude of ways –.at the moment. If we reach the stage of feeling great anxiety – we could hear the voice of Jesus asking, “Do you now believe?” When we come to John 20 we will see how “the doors (were) locked where the disciples were for fear …” [v.19]
How close are we now to the fulfilment of the forecast of Jesus about the state of the world when he is about to return? The anxieties will be such that we could be asking each other “Do you now believe?” Jesus said that at that time there will be “distress of nations in perplexity….people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world.” [Luke 21 v.25,26] Let us make sure we “now believe.”