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This art by one of our amazing members: Bonnie Biebel Lowther
John 16:33 (NKJV)
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
History Behind The Verse
It is important to note whom Jesus is speaking to in this verse. In this chapter of John, Jesus is having a loving conversation with His disciples. He deeply cares for them and their welfare. Jesus knows that when His disciples see Him tortured and killed they will feel very confused. Jesus is aware of what is about to occur. Because His disciples are so dependent on Him leading them, they will scatter like frightened sheep when they witness His capture. To prepare them, Jesus is taking some time to reassure them. He is stressing to His disciples of God’s (and our) ultimate victory in the end. Jesus knows that He is within hours of being tortured and killed, but He is more concerned about His friends’ reaction to His leaving than to His own pain. This is so amazing! Jesus loves His disciples so very much!! He knows that within a few short hours these men will witness a horrible act of violence against their leader and companion. Jesus is speaking these words to them so that when this event does take place they can reflect back on His words and feel comfort.
Just as these men in the book of John were disciples, we are also Jesus’ disciples today. The words that were spoken in this verse are just as relevant to us as they were the original group of 12. We are Jesus’ disciples! We will sometimes be tempted to run! We mustn’t! We are His apostles!!!! We will sometimes feel like we are defeated, but we are NOT!!
What exactly is a disciple?
The original word in the New Testament wasn’t the word disciple, it was the word mathetes.
Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine
Short Definition: a learner, disciple, pupil
Definition: a learner, disciple, pupil.
mathētḗs (from math-, the “mental effort needed to think something through”) – properly, a learner; a disciple, afollower of Christ who learns the doctrines of Scripture and the lifestyle they require; someone catechized with proper instruction from the Bible with its necessary follow-through (life-applications).
What is an apostle?
After Jesus was crucified, the disciples became known as apostles.
The word “disciple” refers to a learner or follower. The word “apostle” means “one who is sent out.” While Jesus was on earth, His twelve followers were called disciples. The twelve disciples followed Jesus Christ, learned from Him, and were trained by Him. After His resurrection and ascension, Jesus sent the disciples out to be His witnesses. They were then referred to as the twelve apostles.
What was the relationship like between Jesus and His disciples?
One thing we have learned from Jesus (the GREATEST teacher of all time) is this:
There can be no discipleship without relationship.
Jesus spent much of His time building a relationship with His disciples.
He truly desired a close, loving relationship with these men.
He desires the same with each of us today!!!
Overcome: to carry off the victory, come off victorious
Connection to Us
In this verse Jesus isn’t literally saying that He defeated the world (meaning the earth) … He is figuratively stating that He had defeated the ruler of the world (Satan). Jesus actually FOUGHT for each one of us and WON!!! To overcome an enemy- a fight or battle of some sort must take place. The battle between Jesus and Satan appeared to be one sided (if your eyes only looked at the blood shed by Christ Jesus) but, one can not always look at physical wounds to determine a victor! Every drop of blood which dripped from Jesus’ body meant another soul was being released from Satan’s claws!!!! As a result of Jesus temporarily losing His life that day on Calvary, Satan was eternally losing His power over all of us Christians!!!
The eternal war for our souls is over, but the battle on our bodies and minds continues to take place daily. There is an exact time when the devil will be sentenced for his crimes and locked up to account for his actions, but that time has not yet come. Satan knows he has little time left. He knows he already lost the war, but that does not stop him from still battling. Satan knows how much Christ loves each one of us. He also knows that Jesus does not want any of us to suffer. Because of this, Satan does anything in his power to cause SUFFERING in each one of our lives. The good news is that these battles are temporary. The next time you are in the midst of one of these difficult times- you can actually remind the devil of this! Let these words come out of your mouth-
Satan, you have already lost the war for my soul! You were overcome by Jesus that wonderful day on Calvary! You can mess with my mind and my body, but you CAN NOT touch my SOUL!!!
STICKS AND STONES MIGHT BREAK MY BONES, But YOU, SATAN will NEVER HAVE ME!!!!!
I am going to visualize Satan as a spoiled and angry little boy. He can’t have what he wants (my soul), so like a little spoiled brat, he chooses to throw rocks at me as I pass him by! Those rocks will sometimes hurt me, but they do NOT change the ultimate outcome for MY LIFE!!!!
Thanks to Jesus who OVERCAME my enemy for me …. I AM now FOREVER a part of the WINNING TEAM!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂