Hunger for Clarity
16 Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”
17 At this, some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 18 They kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he is saying.”
19 Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’? 20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. 23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
25 “Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 No, 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 entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”
29 Then Jesus’ disciples said, “Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. 30 Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.”
31 “Do you now believe?” Jesus replied. 32 “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:16-33 (NIV)
Growing up in a single parent household, my mother was the queen of balancing and multitasking. There was times where she was on the phone, folding towels, and still try and give me instructions all the way in the other room. That was a common theme in our house, so whenever it happened, I remember stepping out of my room to hear her—but not too far because that would be too much work, just enough to try and hear what she was saying. Sometimes I had to take even more steps and actually go in the same room. My poor legs, I know, tragic.
But the times when I stepped in the same room, when I took the steps to go to her, I gained a clarity that I would not receive if I stayed in the room, my comfortable spot.
In this chapter Jesus is speaking to the disciples, and He speaks in a way that leaves the disciples a bit confused. They are asking Jesus questions, they go to one another to think it out, and they ask Jesus again until they have clarity on what He is trying to tell them.
How many times does Jesus download something to us or prompt us to do something, and we have no clue what it means? I know for me Jesus comes, and it can even be a word or a person. I have no idea; I brush it off or maybe pray about it once. But I don’t want to pass by anything this year. I don’t want any more opportunities or moments where Jesus tries to give me something, and I’m not hungry enough to go for it.
I truly believe at this time in the passage Jesus is trying to have the disciples pursue Him, ask Him, spend time with Him. Jesus—in His Jesus way—is even encouraging the disciples to go to one another and ask what is He trying to say. It makes me think of one of our values: Better Together. We were created to be in relationship, to go to one another and to not try and do everything on our own.
Through the disciples’ continued hunger to seek clarity, they received it. They believed! In the last verse Jesus tells us why He said all of this, and for them it was peace. Jesus tries to tell us something and teach us, but how willing are we to seek clarity? How long are we willing to pray and ask Him, “What do you mean?” Are we willing to go to our brothers and sisters and ask them to pray with us? There should be nothing that is stopping us because Jesus says it best, “…But take heart I have overcome the world”.
Jesus, I pray that we go after you like never before. Lord, I thank you for the opportunity to seek you more, to grow closer to you. Let this be the year where we seek Jesus like it’s our day job, that we are going after Him day and night. Let us step out of the comfortable and step into a clarity that can only be from you. In Jesus name, amen.