Monday 10 May 2010

Bible Book:

"They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, an hour is coming when those who kill you will think that by doing so they are offering worship to God." (16:2)

John 15:26 - 16:4 Monday 10 May 2010


In this passage, Jesus tells his disciples that they must expectto face suffering and even death at the hands of people who havefailed to recognise who Christ is. The ignorance of those who claimto be worshipping God, whilst persecuting Christ's followers, iscontrasted with the true testimony of the Holy Spirit and thedisciples themselves. The disciples have been with Jesus from thebeginning and know Jesus well. Those who will persecute them lackthis knowledge.

Jesus encourages the disciples to testify on his behalf despite theopposition they will face. And even today people still riskpersecution and death in some parts of the world for testifyingabout their faith.

Jesus shares these things with his disciples as a way of bothpreparing and comforting them. If they can remember in the midst oftheir suffering that their testimony is true and that those whooppose them are wrong, they will be able to stand firm and notstumble.

The promised Holy Spirit will also be a strength and support tothem. Here the Spirit is described as "the Advocate", which is aword connected with courts of law. The Holy Spirit will plead thecase of Christ's disciples when they are brought to the time oftrial.

One of the trials Jesus mentions is that "they will put you out ofthe synagogues". This may not seem a very serious ordeal incomparison with being put to death. However, it does remind us thatexclusion from a particular community to which one has belonged -church, work, school, family, prison, home, hospital - is adifficult and painful experience which is often accompanied by adeep sense of suffering and loss.

To Ponder

How can you offer worship to God in what you aredoing today?

What words of Jesus do you remember when you arein need of strength and consolation?

In what ways can you be an advocate for peoplewho have been excluded?

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