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©Michael Player

Chapter 16:25-33 (ESV)

Posted on September 11, 2023  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 16:25-33 (ESV) - “I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”

His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.” Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Question to consider: Why did Jesus say things to the disciples that they would not understand?

As someone who catechizes youth, there are times I speak of things that are beyond their understanding at their age. I don’t do this to confound them, but to help drill the ideas into their memory. Along with this, I believe it is a good idea for Christian parents to work with their children on scripture memory from a young age even if the child doesn’t understand the context of the passages you have them memorize. The point is just to get the ideas and passages in their long-term memory so that when their brains are more fully developed, the information is readily accessible to them. Memory is one of the most basic of brain activities that people of all ages can accomplish through enough repetition. It is work, but it is work that pays dividends. Even an elderly person who may not remember a conversation he had five minutes ago, often can recall things that were seeded into his long-term memory ages ago.

The disciples learned the scriptures from when they were children, and Jesus constantly catechized them about things that they were spiritually incapable of understanding. The reason He did this was because He knew that when the Holy Spirit came to the disciples at Pentecost, all of this knowledge would suddenly be illuminated since the Holy Spirit would now be dwelling in them. As the gospel spread throughout the world, it was first proclaimed in the synagogues because the Jewish elders who recognized their Messiah from the types and shadows of the Old Testament instantly began to grasp their fulfillment in the New Testament in Christ and were able to rapidly become elders in the church.

It’s almost humorous to hear the disciples acting like they now understood what Jesus was saying because we know that Judas was about to show up and turn Jesus over to the praetorian guard, and these disciples would scatter like scared and confused sheep despite the fact that Jesus had told them this was all about to happen. When Jesus said they would go back to their homes, He meant that they would go back to their lives before becoming disciples. At the end of this gospel account, we see Peter and John had gone back to their fishing boats.

After Pentecost, they would ask for the Father to do miraculous signs in Jesus’ name. Although the generation of the apostles has come and gone, we still are able to come to the Father in prayer because of the name of Christ. This doesn’t necessarily mean we are required to tack the phrase “In Jesus’ name” onto the end of our prayers. It means that because we have been given the righteousness of Christ, we can come before the Father in prayer without fear of judgment. The Holy Spirit even makes our prayers more presentable before God. This doesn’t mean we get every earthly thing we desire or request. As James wrote to the early church, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” (James 4:3) Once we have given to God our requests, we can rest comfortably in whatever response He gives, knowing that He desires what is best for us.


Dear heavenly Father, help us to hide Your word in our hearts and teach our children to do the same. May Your Spirit bring them to remembrance at the right time so that we may have peace in the world. May we remember to bring our requests to You and rest comfortably in Your good will. Amen.