Text: John 16:16-33
Summary: Anxiety even in one area causes an internal fracturing and our whole being feels stressed. The antidote to our stress is His peace. Jesus’ own peace removes all stress by bringing wholeness on the inside.
Good morning, everybody. Well, thank you for praying for me. Thursday night I got sick and I didn’t even know how sick I was. Friday I was still trying to do my normal duties with Easy Cloud. But I realized around Friday late afternoon that I had a fever. And that’s when I asked for prayers. I experienced a miracle. Everyone’s prayers were coming from all different places. Pastor Brian called me from Korea Friday evening when everyone was praying for me, and about a minute after I hung up the phone, maybe 30 seconds after I got off the phone, I broke into a sweat and the fever was gone. So I praise the Lord for experiencing that miracle.
Okay, let’s pray.
Father, we’re so thankful that we can gather as your people. And Lord, we just want to hear from you today. We don’t know what you’re going to say, but we want to hear from you. Teach us about prayer and teach us about peace. Lord, I ask you to speak. Confirm your word. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus Name, Amen
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.”
The one question I’ve been asking the Holy Spirit for more understanding and revelation this week is a phrase in v.33. It says, “I have said these things to you that IN ME you may have peace.” I want to focus on the words “IN ME.” What an amazing promise! That in Jesus, we have peace. Jesus is our Prince of Peace. And in Him we have peace. And isn’t peace something we all need? Peace here is described as a wholeness.
This peace is in contrast to anxiousness, when Jesus rebukes Martha and says, Why are you so anxious and troubled? Anxious means you are split into parts. And Jesus’ peace brings together all of the different parts of your life into one whole. You become a whole person, such that it doesn’t matter what is happening in your life. Because you know people who have a very peaceful life on the surface and yet inside there is a storm.
And we also know people whose life is so chaotic and there is so much tribulation. And yet inside, they are as calm as tranquil waters. And so there’s a promise here that even in the midst of the worst tribulation that you can imagine that Jesus’ peace can bring such wholeness. And this is a quietness of your mind.
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
As Jesus is wrapping up his earthly ministry, the one gift He wants to give His disciples is peace. His peace. He says, in me you will have peace. And the one thing that Satan will try his best to do is to take away Jesus’ peace, to cause you to be anxious, to cause you to be split, to cause you to be troubled and fearful.
And the disciples are already feeling such sorrow because Jesus has been talking for several chapters about leaving them. And John 16 is no different. This is His last sharing among his friends, and already they are feeling so much sorrow and Jesus knows it.
And Jesus says, a little while you will have sorrow, but don’t worry, your sorrow will turn to joy. Then the disciples have all these questions, but they are not bold enough to ask Him. But Jesus perceives they have this question.
And so Jesus answers a question that they haven’t even spoken, and He likens the sorrow that they are feeling, which is a momentary sorrow, He likens it to childbirth. I’m not a woman, but I’ve heard from women who’ve given birth that it is the most painful thing that you can imagine.
And Jesus picks that human experience and says, this is what you’re going through right now, and you will continue to go through it as you watch me dy on a cross. And for three days, you think all is lost. You think everything is over. You think your life doesn’t make sense. You think it might be all down the tubes.
And that is the sorrow that Jesus is saying that you’re in and will continue to get even more difficult. But he says, at the end of it, your sorrow will turn to joy. While the world is rejoicing, remember I said this world is a system that hates Jesus, while the disciples and the friends of Jesus are in such sorrow, the world is having a party. And Jesus says your sorrow will turn to joy.
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.
And that sounds a little contradictory to what we read in John 14:12
12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
Jesus says here, if you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. But there is a bit of a contradiction in John 16:23 when Jesus says, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, He, the Father, will give it to you. Jesus says I will do it, and then he says that the Father will give it. And so is that a contradiction?
I don’t think it’s a contradiction because when Jesus was here on earth, whatever the Father willed, Jesus carried out the will of the Father. Whatever the father spoke, Jesus spoke. Whatever the Father taught, Jesus taught. Whatever the Father wanted done, Jesus did. They were one.
And so when we pray to the Father and the Father gives the green light, who is the one who carries out the Father’s will? Even to this day, it is Jesus, the Son of God. That’s an amazing thing that the Lord showed to me this week that when we pray to the Father and the Father says Yes, that is my will, then it is as good as done.
Jesus carries out the will of the Father. So when I received prayers for my sickness, it was the Father’s will that I would be healed. I received prayers from all of you. I received prayers from all over the place, and when I was being prayed for over the phone, was it Pastor Brian’s giftedness of healing? Is that the reason I was healed?
If so, then Pastor Brian will get all the glory and he would receive all the glory. But that’s not what happens every time an answer to prayer comes. He would be the first to admit that he had nothing to do with it. Jesus gets all the glory.
And so when we ask the Father in Jesus’ name for anything and the Father says, yes, this is my will, it’s a green light. Who does it? Jesus does it.
12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.
How can we do greater works than Jesus? He raised people from the dead. Are there greater works than this? Is there a greater miracle than what He did when he raised Lazarus? That was the final nail in the coffin that set the plan in motion at that point because this miracle was so big and so loud.
Is there anything bigger than a dead man being raised from the dead? I don’t think here it means greater in terms of the magnitude of the miracle or how splendid a miracle is. He’s not talking about a greater miracle that is more shocking and more awesome.
I think he’s talking about how when He goes to the Father and He sends the Spirit, now Jesus is no longer bound by a physical body and His spirit is everywhere. And the same way that Jesus met me on Friday night and broke the fever, I’m sure that this was not the only place He was working in the world. I’m sure He was working in many places around the world. And that is the greater works that we can witness in Jesus.
And just to be clear, when we are doing greater works in Jesus name, is it our work? Do we get the glory so that people look to us because we’re so gifted? People make that mistake. And in Matthew 7, there is a group of supernaturally gifted ministers who made that mistake, who healed in Jesus’ name, who prophesied in Jesus’ name, did mighty works in Jesus’ name.
And were these the greater works that Jesus had promised and did they do the greater works? Or is it clear from John 14 and John 16 that Jesus did the greater works? So Jesus gets the glory and the Father who gave the green light to Jesus gets the glory.
That’s why when we see an answered prayer and we’re a witness of answered prayers, we say Hallelujah! We give glory to Jesus and to the Father because God the Father is the one who gave the green light. And Jesus is the one who did it.
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.
How does the world give peace? The world says if you’re not at peace, then change your circumstances. If you are busy and stressed at work, then take a vacation. If after your vacation, you go back to work and work is still stressful, then change jobs.
And you can keep on changing your circumstances and taking longer vacations. But in the end, who you are is going to follow you wherever you go.
So internally if you lack peace, you’ll go to the next job and guess what? You’re not going to have peace. You think a change of circumstance or getting married, having children or being a CEO, or having more money, that these are the things that are going to bring you peace?
But in the end, who you are is who you are, and you bring yourself into every situation. And so you lack the peace that only Jesus can give. Because Jesus’ peace is the only one that brings the different parts of you into one whole.
And every one of us has parts or responsibilities or duties. You know you have a duty. If you are married as a spouse, there is the spouse bucket. If you’re a parent, you have a duty of bringing up your children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. That is the parent bucket. If you’re the father and you’re working and earning money and putting food on the table, that is the breadwinner/provider bucket.
And then let’s say you’re serving at a church, and there are people who look up to you and are being discipled by you. That is the church or ministry bucket. And you take all of these different buckets. And you can have peace in 99% of these buckets. But if 10% is not at peace, guess what? The whole of you is not at peace.
I think that’s what the Lord is showing me this week. If even a small percentage of you is not having peace, then it’s like having a broken finger. It’s such a small percentage of your body, but you feel it. A little stomach ache that I felt over the last few days, it affects everything.
A small percentage of your body, if it’s not whole, if your whole body is not healthy, you would say I am unhealthy. I’m sick. And so, if you look at the different buckets of your life and if even in one area there is some stress or there’s some anxiety, then that will seep into the rest of you and as a whole you’ll be an anxious person.
You lack peace, and Jesus says, unlike the world, I can solve the core issue. I can bring peace on the inside, and that’s why it says in John 16:33, I have said these things to you that in me you may have peace.
So where do we find peace? In Jesus. Whose peace is it? It’s Jesus’ peace. It’s the same thing that we read about when Jesus talks about joy. It’s all over the place when He talks about joy.
24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
Why does receiving answers to prayer result in full joy? Is it really because you asked for a job and you got it or you asked for a promotion and you got it? Or you’re sick and you got healed. Is it the answers to prayer that leads to full joy? That’s not what He says in John 15:11. These things I have spoken to you that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be full.
So it’s clear that full joy only comes from Jesus. It’s Jesus’ joy. And so remember, Jesus is the one who answers, He is the one who does the prayer and fulfills God’s will and completes and accomplishes the prayers. He is the reason why prayers are answered.
The fact that Jesus is with us, the fact that Jesus met me in my room on Friday evening, that’s where joy comes from, not the fact that I was healed. The fact that Jesus met me. That’s where full joy comes from. Jesus is with me.
Same thing with peace. Is it our peace? Is it our joy? No, it’s always Jesus. His joy. His peace. That’s how we’re full of peace and full of joy. It comes from Jesus and this peace is so profound.
The disciples don’t understand yet because they are going through their first tribulation with Jesus’ promise of peace. But they don’t have it fully because the Spirit has not come. So they are going through this first mini tribulation without the preparation and without the empowerment of the Spirit.
And going through this tribulation is like a woman giving birth. It is so painful. They think life is over. They’re ready to throw in the towel. But when they see Him after He resurrects, joy returns. And from that point on, joy never left the apostles.
I believe from that point on, when they saw the resurrected Christ, peace never left them. Their encounter with the resurrected Christ was so profound that peace and joy never left them.
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.
It says it in Revelation and 1 John 5, and in various chapters that we are overcomers. But is it really our courage and our resilience? Is it because we’re so good at being a person of peace and staying whole? Is that really where our confidence comes from that we can overcome every tribulation? No, we are overcomers because Jesus overcame.
So already everything is in Jesus. Where does joy, full joy come from? Our full joy comes from Jesus. Where does our peace, full peace come from? It comes from Jesus. Where does our victory, our full victory come from so that we can overcome? No matter what life throws at us, we overcome because Jesus first overcame and the peace that Jesus gives is so profound.
If you count the trial and crucifixion, it was the darkest week of the disciples’ life of tribulation without the Holy Spirit. It was a solo journey. And they were sorrowful and they had no peace. Now that Jesus is resurrected and He has given us His spirit and the promise that the Father will answer prayers, when we ask in Jesus’ name, Jesus himself will do it and we will see the manifestations.
And the answers to these prayers will give us full joy because it will remind us that Jesus is with us. We can face every tribulation, no matter what life throws at you. Because internally, there is so much peace.
So think back to all the different buckets, your bucket as a spouse, there can be peace even covering over your shortcomings. There can be peace that even in a bucket of parenting and waiting on the Lord, how come my kids are not saved yet, trying your best to instruct them and to discipline them and just waiting and waiting. And Jesus brings peace over that and says, I have your children. You’re just stewarding them. I have your children.
When it comes to your job and financial provision, Jesus says, I will bring peace in that area of your life in terms of your work and your ministry. Don’t put so much burden on yourself. I will do it. I will do it. Bring every burden to me.
We are being prepared in this season of life for the next season around the corner, and already 2020 has been very, very strange and difficult. We are being prepared in this season, so that no matter what life throws at you, even if it’s the final tribulation and it’s the most difficult time in history as it was in the first century, that we will have peace.
And it’s not our peace. It’s the peace that only Jesus can give. It’s a peace that brings wholeness, a peace that casts out all stress and anxiety. You’re not like Martha, who is anxious and split and stressed. You’re more like Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet in wholeness and peace.
It’s one of the greatest gifts that Jesus says, it’s my peace. He says, I give you my peace and this is the antidote for all of your stress.
Father, we’re so thankful that we can come and ask anything in Jesus’ name and whatever your answer is, whatever you say, may your will be done. And we’re content with whatever you say. We thank you for many times in our lives when you, Father, gave a green light and you mobilized Jesus.
And to this day your will is fulfilled perfectly through the person of Jesus in our lives. Jesus, you saw the sorrow that was building in the hearts of the disciples over the course of John 14 through 17. No wonder you ended with prayer for the disciples. You know how much they needed prayer and you look at us and you see how much we need your prayers.
And the greatest gift that you can give to any disciple or friend of Jesus is your peace. It’s a peace that brings a wholeness internally. Lord, anxiety and stress breaks us into pieces, but Lord, your peace brings us into one whole person.
And so, Lord, we ask for your peace. Your peace is an antidote for all of our stress. And so we take all of our stress, all of our burdens, all of our troubles, all of our fears. We bring it to you and we ask that you take care of it, Lord.
And we trust you with these burdens and we trust that you will either change us. Or in some cases, you may change our circumstances because you’re so gracious.
Father, we ask in the partaking of the Lord’s Supper that you would meet us. And you ask for one thing, Lord. As we remember your body broken and your blood shed, we want to meet the resurrected Jesus because when the disciples were so sorrowful and lacked peace and met you after you rose from the dead, all of the joy was restored.
All of the peace was restored in an instant. That is what you’re saying in John 16. And so Lord, we want our joy to be restored fully. It’s your joy, Lord. We want our peace to be restored fully. It’s your peace, Lord Jesus. We ask for your peace and your joy during this time of prayer. In Jesus Name, Amen