Take Heart!

 


 

Abide-11

 

TITLE: Take Heart!

TEXT: John 16:16-33

TONE: Encouragement

TARGET: Believers

TASK: To focus on the disciple’s journey from sorrow to joy through the resurrection of Christ and the peace He offers in overcoming the world.

TEACH: Opening Illustration: The burden of going through a renovation. It takes time, money, and endless promotion. The process can be trying, inconvenient, and stressful. Yet, the result will be beautiful. 

TRUTH: John 16:16-33 focuses on the disciples and their journey from sorrow to joy. The disciples faced confusion and fear as Jesus spoke of His impending death, but He promised them a joy that no one could take. The disciples still have no category to allow them to make sense of a Messiah who would die, rise from the dead, and abandon his people in favor of “Another Counselor.”[1] The disciples were perplexed and confused.

 

Think back on a time when you were confused about something. Confusion caused by not understanding a situation can lead to a sense of panic and anxiety. In the case of Jesus’ disciples after his crucifixion, they experienced a whirlwind of emotions such as fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Their previous hopes and expectations seemed shattered, and they were left grappling with shocking turn of events.

 

I’m sure the disciples felt like they were in a dense fog with no clear direction, unsure of what steps to take next or how to make sense of the situation. This kind of uncertainty can create a sense of panic, as the mind races to find answers and make sense of the chaos. In situations like these we must be on guard against hasty actions, panic manifested in frantic discussions, and fearful retreats.

 

In moments like these, Jesus encouraged His disciples to “take heart.” However, the important question we must answer is what did Jesus do to encourage His disciples?

 

He encouraged them with several important truths.

 

The FIRST truth we see that brings clarity amid confusion is the ….

 

I.   Reality of Resurrection (16-22)

a.     The initial sorrow and perplexity of the disciples at Jesus’ words about His death (v.16-18).

b.     Jesus’s promise of joy through His resurrection (v.20-22).

c.     There is a contrast between the sorrow of Jesus’ death and the joy of His resurrection.

d.     After the resurrection joy became a defining characteristic in the lives of the disciples. Their joy was evident through (1) Through their bold witness (Acts 4:31). (2) Through the unity they enjoyed (Acts 2:46). (3) Through their devotion to prayer and fellowship (Acts 2:42). (4) Through their courage in the face of persecution (Acts 5:41).

 

Illustration: Imagine a caterpillar going through the stages of metamorphosis inside its cocoon. At first, the caterpillar may feel confined, isolated, and may be even a but fearful of the unknown changes happening within. It might be a time of uncertainty and discomfort as it undergoes transformation.

 

Gradually, as the process unfolds, the caterpillar begins to see signs of new life emerging. The cocoon starts to crack open, and a beautiful butterfly emerges, spreading its wings in freedom and flight.

 

In a similar way, the disciples experienced a sense of sorrow and confusion during Jesus’ crucifixion and burial, much like the caterpillar’s time in the cocoon. However, just as the butterfly brings joy and beauty after its transformation, Jesus’ resurrection brought a profound joy and new life to the disciples.

 

Application: Preach the Gospel to yourself daily.

 

The SECOND truth we see that brings clarity amid confusion is the ..

 

II.Outpouring of Joy (23-27)

a.     The disciples’ direct access to the Father through prayer in Jesus’ name (23-24).

b.     Jesus’s assurance of answered prayer and the Father’s love for them (25-27).

c.     Prayer is encouraged so that the disciples’ joy would be full. Thus, the statement further elaborates on the joy that has risen from the ashes of grief. Therefore, not only will the disciples have joy at seeing Jesus again; they will have an abiding joy beyond the resurrection appearance in a newfound relationship with Jesus through prayer.

 

Illustration: As a child approaches a parent with trust and confidence, knowing that their loving parent will hear and respond to their needs, the disciples can come before the Father in prayer through the name of Jesus with the same assurance. Jesus promises that when we pray in his name, our request will be granted.

 

Praying to the Father through the Son aligns our prayers with His will, desires, and character. When believers approach God in this manner, they are seeking His purpose and plans, rather than their own. They are submitting themselves to God’s divine wisdom and authority, knowing that His ways are higher and better than their own. Submitting to God’s divine wisdom and authority produces joy in the heart of His disciples.

 

Application: Pray, seeking God’s purposes rather than your own.

 

The THIRD truth we see that brings clarity amid confusion is the ..

 

III.            Peace that Overcomes (28-33).

a.     Jesus’s departure and return to the Father as a source of peace for the disciples (28).

b.     The disciples’ confession of understanding and belief in Jesus as the Son of God (29-30).

c.     Jesus’s forewarning of tribulation in the world but His ultimate victory and the disciples’ peace in Him (31-33).

 

Illustration: Corrie ten Boom was a Dutch Christian who, along with her family helped many Jews escape the Holocaust during World War II. Corrie and her family were eventually arrested by the Nazis and sent to concentration camps for their role in the underground network.

 

Despite facing unimaginable tribulation and hardships in the concentration camps, Corrie held on to her faith in Jesus and found peace that transcended her circumstances. She often share how she experienced God’s presence and strength amid the suffering, providing her with supernatural peace that transcended her circumstances which allowed her to minister to others.

 

One powerful moment of peace occurred when Corrie and her sister Betsie were transferred to the notorious Ravensbruck concertation camp. Amid the squalor and cruelty of the camp, Betsie encouraged Corrie to trust in God’s sovereignty and remain focused on loving and serving others, even their captors.

 

What a powerful story of how the peace Christ gives overcomes the darkness of this world. His joy and His peace are ours because HE has overcome the world.

 

Application: Preserve in peace knowing He has overcome the world.

 

TAKE-AWAY: (recap)What we can be sure of is that in this world we will have trouble. Therefore, we should not be surprised or caught off guard when it comes. Expect both cosmic hostility and personal hostility.

 

1. Preach the Gospel to yourself daily.

2. Pray, seeking His purposes rather than your own.

3. Persevere in peace knowing He has overcome the world.

 

TIE-UP: Just like our sanctuary is going to be renewed, so we are being renewed. Every circumstance of life God wants to us to shape us and to give us a hope beyond this temporary world. TAKE HEART HE HAS OVERCOME THE WORLD.

 

 

 

 

  

 



[1] D.A. Carson, The Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Gospel According of John (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdman’s Publishing Co, 1991), 543.

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