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New International Version – UK
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.’
Well, life can be very frustrating, can’t it? Lots of things can go wrong. And plans never seemed to go as we had hoped. In our reading from John’s Gospel today, we read of Jesus talking to his disciples, his disciples saying, We believe, and Jesus saying, ‘It’s great that you believe, but actually persecution is going to come and you will be scattered and you will leave me and run away. It’s going to be compromised. And then you too will be persecuted’. And Jesus says, ‘But don’t worry, I have overcome the world’.
As we think about all the different frustrations that we face, things that never go quite right, technology is one of them. Technology offers us, doesn’t it, lots of opportunities. I’ve just had a prayer meeting with two of my colleagues, but the internet didn’t work all the time. We missed some of the words and we were interrupted a little bit by my grandchildren as well. Lots of frustrations and the world sometimes just seems to win. Jesus says, Don’t worry, I have overcome the world. He’s even overcome all our technical internet difficulties as well.
That which is God’s will and God’s purpose is that which will win. And being part of God’s purpose and God’s will and God’s direction is the place that Jesus calls us to be; a place with the conqueror, the victor of the world. Even though the world interrupts us and frustrates us and undermines that which we’d hoped and planned, we follow and hold the hand of Jesus, who is the conqueror of the world, and we give thanks that we are conquerors with him.
Heavenly Father, help us this day to live with the discomfort of frustration and compromise in the world. But thank you that in you we have the victory over the world and over those frustrations and that one day all those will be wiped away as we will meet you face to face and all things are made new. Until then, Lord, grant us the gift of patience and of love, of hope and of faith. Amen.