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He Is With You

In John chapters 14-16 Jesus begins saying his goodbyes to his disciples. However, Jesus doesn’t leave them without hope and comfort. Instead, he leaves them with a promise that will sustain them for the future. Jesus said in John 14:16-18 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

His disciples had to be relieved and comforted after hearing those words by Jesus. But somewhere along the conversation they must have forgotten his promise because Jesus notices their sorrow. When reading this, I couldn’t understand why his disciples were feeling sad. In my mind Jesus is about to die on a cross, be buried, and rise on the third day all so we can have life!

But think how his disciples felt in that moment. They can’t comprehend what is going to happen and in their eyes all they know is their best friend is about to leave them. They focus on the present, rather than the future. Imagine for a moment that your best friend is saying goodbye for the last time. The person who you do everything with and who knows you the most, is about to leave you. You’d be feeling deep sorrow similar to what the disciples felt, wouldn’t you? You’d probably even start reminiscing all the good times you had together, while also asking the question who’s going to be there for me now?

I can imagine questions began flooding their minds. Questions like: who’s going to watch out for us? who’s going to be there to comfort us when we are scared? who is going to make us laugh when we feel sad? or who’s going to be my best friend and always be there for me? These worries and questions are why Jesus promised them the Comforter from the very beginning. But the disciples forgot about His promise.

Recognizing their sorrow and fear of loneliness, Jesus reminds them of the same promise again. In John 16:7 He says, “It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” The disciples didn’t understand what he was saying at the time, but Jesus was saying I’ve got to go away so that I can come back to you. I have to die on a cross for your sins and be buried in the ground, so I can rise again on the third day. Why? All so you can follow me, and I can come live in you forever and I can fill you with my Spirit.

Is it not amazing Jesus told his disciples the answer long before they realized they needed the answer? He said I won’t leave you comfortless: I will come to you. The word comfortless in Greek actually means orphan, fatherless, motherless, or abandoned with no hope and no protection. He said you won’t be alone; I will be with you always. I will be your Father, you may not see me in the flesh anymore, but I will be with you!

This promise wasn’t just for his disciples, it is for us too! When we choose to follow the plan of salvation found in Acts 2:38 we receive the Comforter; we receive Jesus! And now Jesus is always with us! He is reminding us today, I am not going to leave you alone in your darkest moment. I am not going to leave you alone when you need me the most.; I will be with you. No, I will be with you always. No matter how you feel and no matter what you are going through, Jesus is still with you. Just like his promise says in His Word, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”

Child of God, whatever you are facing and whatever you go through. Remember, He is with you!

Rev. Luke Ruddick

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