17 May 2010

John 16:29-33

His disciples said, 'Yes, now you are speaking plainly, not in any figure of speech!'" (v.29)


Here Jesus is coming close to the end of his earthly ministry. He knows that shortly, in Jerusalem, he will face accusations from the Jewish authorities for blasphemy and from the Roman authorities for inciting rebellion. Time is running out for helping his disciples to fully grasp what his life and mission are all about.

Jesus has tried talking to them in parables, in stories and through his actions but they have frequently misunderstood his message and mission. His closest disciples had not wanted him to travel to Jerusalem, although he knew he must. Now time is running out and, as the disciples listen to Jesus, they sense that he is speaking to them as clearly as he possibly can, about himself and about God the Father. Jesus tells them that God loves them because they have loved and believed in him.

This plain speaking was very necessary because the disciples were going to face the most testing time of their lives. They were going to panic and they were going to become scattered. They needed the reassurance of his plain speaking to anchor them.

To Ponder

Think of your experience. Is it always true that plain speaking is the best way to get an important message across? Why?

Do you have any experience of plain speaking delivered under pressure of imminent death or departure? What happened?

Bible notes author

The Revd Jennifer Potter

The Revd Jennifer Potter is a Methodist minister at Wesley's Chapel, City Road, London. Prior to being appointed to serve there she worked in the Connexional Team from 1996-2002 as the secretary for international affairs.