The Enemy Approacheth

We’re going through the New Testament now understanding the doctrine of the Trinity. I hope many of you are seeing just how much this doctrine shows up in the New Testament and how essential it is. Doing this study has been revealing for this writer also as I am seeing truths that I hadn’t taken the time to consider before. We’re going to sum up John 14 tonight with verses 29-31.

29I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. 30I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, 31but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.
“Come now; let us leave.

Verse 29 has Jesus giving the reason why he spoke of his death, resurrection, and ascension. If he had not spoken of it beforehand, it could have been seen as something on the lines of the dead man who came to life when he touched Elisha’s bones or other resurrections. Because Jesus predicted it, that means that everything he did was staked on that claim.

Once again, I urge my readers to keep in mind that Jesus did stake everything on this claim as should we. If Jesus rose again, then Christianity is true and philosophical objections will have an answer somewhere be they the problem of evil or questions like “What would it mean if extra-terrestrial life were found?” If he did not rise, then it’s time to pack up and go home. We’re still in our sins, if they even exist any more.

Why is Jesus’s ministry ceasing? Verse 30 tells us. The ruler of this world is coming. Jesus is going to have to deal with the forces of satan and there is indeed some eschatology here. This is the climatic battle between good and evil going on. Jesus and the devil are both going to clash at the cross. The one who knew no sin will meet the source of all sin. One of them is going to lose.

Yet Jesus says the devil has no hold on him. There is no sin on him. The battle is already won. Jesus only has to go through with it.

It is through this that the world will learn that the Son loves the Father and does what he is commanded. The Son is faithful even unto death and as we see in the prayers he prays in the garden, he did want the cup to pass through him, but he knew the will of God would come first.

What is meant by leaving? It’s a debated question but some take verse 31 to mean that the group is getting up and moving out. Some take it to mean one stage of teaching is ending and now we’re entering the time of the passion and the disciples are invited to join in on this. It could be one of these or both or some other interpretation we do not know yet.

Tomorrow, we shall start looking at John 15.

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