John 16:32-33 AV
³²Behold, an hour is coming,
and has already come,
for you to be scattered,
each to his own home,
and to leave Me alone;
and yet I am not alone,
because the Father is with Me.
³³These things I have spoken to you,
so that in Me you may have peace.
In the world you have tribulation,
but take courage;
I have overcome the world.”
How much Jesus says here in a few words.
You know, it are not just the disciples who flee when the soldiers capture Jesus.
No, these words also apply to us, also apply to today.
“For you to be scattered, each to his own home”,
Don’t come to the meetings watch the preaching at home via the internet.
Keep distance from one another (What is “social” in social distancing?)
It is no longer allowed to come together because of a virus that claimed fewer deaths than the flu epidemic of two years ago, even though the flu itself no longer seems to exist. Normally about 8,000 people were killed by the flu in my country, and this year there were only 400 (!). But 8,000 deaths by corona (?!).
Now by non-Christians, church attendance is compared to a visit to a theater or cinema, which according to them Christians can just as well miss, as they can miss their visit to a theater.
And that reaction is not surprising, because since man fell in sin, he is spiritually dead. And the dead don’t need food. But those who have been born again, those who have come back to life, need nourishment and fellowship.
What remains of the communion of the saints when the unifying power of the presence of the Lord Jesus is no longer there? Then we become estranged from each other and everyone gets busy with his own. Jesus said, “Abide in me, as I am in you” (John 6:56, 15:4).
It was not only Peter who overconfidently said, “Even if I had to die with You, I will not deny You” (Matthew 26:35).
We all know how unnoticed we leave Jesus alone …
It is far more important to us, that He abides in us, than that we abide in Him.
But when we live like this, there is a great risk that the mutual love will grow cold, the community will fade into the background, and private life will become like a holy cow!
Who really loves someone will never abandon the other!
That is why Jesus will always remain in us.
But how can we leave Him alone, if what we say is true, that we really love Him ?
That the Father is with Him doesn’t make up for this.
Yet His love for us remains, and even in our failure He continues to offer us His peace …
“Come, let us return to the Lord,” is the call of the prophet Hosea (Hosea 6:1).
Only when we truly return to Him,
▪︎ the Kingdom of God is again endlessly more important than all that is ‘ours’.
▪︎ We again become with Him strangers on earth.
▪︎ Yes, then we will stand out, because we are so very different from the people who live around us.
So it was with Jesus, and so it is also with His own.
If we abide in Him, we will suffer tribulation in this world, but then also, we will live
filled with His peace.
2 Corinthians 1:6
And whether we be afflicted,
it is for your consolation and salvation,
which is effectual in the enduring
of the same sufferings
which we also suffer:
or whether we be comforted,
it is for your consolation and salvation.
Website 1: https://devotionals.harryschoemaker.nl
Website 2: http://bijbelplaatjes.nl