Photo. Sr Blick, pacific coast, 2011
IX. The Sermon: Are We There Yet? – Rev. Kyle McClellan, Senior Minister, Grace Presbyterian Church. The Sermon Passage: John 16:16-33
Intro. We are a time-obsessed culture who would take 30 hour work days if we could. But Jesus here is intentionally vague on time. Why does he do that? Why do we war and strive that we control our own time?
The Big Idea: In God’s perfect timing, Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension will result in peace for the followers of Jesus in the midst of tribulation.
I. In a little while . . . (vv. 16-22).
What is this vague reference to time? It sounds like a car ride with kids asking if we are there yet. This phrase is used 7 times in this passage. The disciples don’t get it. Jesus is talking about his death and resurrection. The world will rejoice because their troublemaker is gone. The disciples will be mourning this but because he will rise in three days, their morning will turn to great joy. When will that happen? In a little while.
II. In THAT day . . . (vv. 23-24, 26-28).
“Christ resurrected from the grave, just to tell death, ‘excuse me.'” YouTube video, Why I hate religion, but love Christ.
V17. Jesus says he is not going to be there any longer to answer their questions because a he is ascending to heaven. V24.
III. THE hour is coming . . . (vv. 25, 29-32).
How can Christ leave a group of people that will reject him and flee and say that they will receive joy?
The joy that they will receive from Jesus is not tied to their performance. Rather it is tied to Christ’s performance.
How about you? It is not your self sufficiency that can somehow bring you this joy. It is only His performance for you. Your performance is awful. The disciples will scatter when Jesus is crucified and perform miserably.
IV. The resulting paradox (v. 33).
Jesus just said that you will have shalom / peace – not based on your own performance. However, he says you will find much trouble in the world. But, be encouraged – Christ tells us that he wins. It’s like watching the 1994 championship where Nebraska almost loses. It is not nerve wracking to see it replayed now because we know who wins.
Can we repent of our desire to run things instead of God, thinking we would do better?
16 “A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.” 17 So some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?” 18 So they were saying, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.” 19 Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’? 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. 21 When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22 So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. 23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
25 “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. 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; 27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”
29 His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! 30 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.” 31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32 Behold, 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. 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.”