Wednesday, December 20
Jesus spoke of telling the disciples things ahead of time several times during that upper room discourse. Twice (John 13:19, 14:29) it was so that when it happened the disciples would believe. A third time (John 16:4) it would remind them that Jesus had warned them. There are other related passages along the same lines: John 13:7, 14:25, 15:25, 16:17-28, 16:32. All of Jesus’ predictions would help the disciples when the time came, but it also says a lot about Jesus. He knew all things that were going to take place as it says point blank in John 18:4. This must have had a significant impact on the disciples. They had already acknowledged that Jesus was the promised Messiah and that he was God, but this demonstration of his omniscience must have been very comforting, especially after Jesus returned to the Father. This also reflects the precise reason for all prophecies. As Paul often said, those prophetic utterances of the Old Testament were a mystery, but now revealed. O.T. prophecies were not fully understood until they were fulfilled, but when they were fulfilled, it declared loud and clear that God was fully in charge and had an agenda that no one could thwart. So prophecies reveal the sovereignty of God, but there are other issues, too. God had sound reasons for keeping people in the dark concerning some of his plans. Fulfilled prophecies come to light at precise times. Again, God is in complete control. So while we don’t know all the details concerning the future, we can rely on a faithful, caring, and unchanging God. We have all we need with a God like that.