Thursday, 9 April 2009

Joy and sadness on a desperate Thursday

Jesus got down on his hands and knees and then, despite protests, washed his disciples' feet like the most menial of servants. Then he started speaking to them.

Several chapters later...

"That stirred up a hornet's nest of questions among the disciples: "What's he talking about: 'In a day or so you're not going to see me, but then in another day or so you will see me'? And, 'Because I'm on my way to the Father'? What is this 'day or so'? We don't know what he's talking about."

Jesus knew they were dying to ask him what he meant, so he said, "Are you trying to figure out among yourselves what I meant when I said, 'In a day or so you're not going to see me, but then in another day or so you will see me'? Then fix this firmly in your minds: You're going to be in deep mourning while the godless world throws a party. You'll be sad, very sad, but your sadness will develop into gladness.

"When a woman gives birth, she has a hard time, there's no getting around it. But when the baby is born, there is joy in the birth. This new life in the world wipes out memory of the pain. The sadness you have right now is similar to that pain, but the coming joy is also similar. When I see you again, you'll be full of joy, and it will be a joy no one can rob from you. You'll no longer be so full of questions.

"This is what I want you to do: Ask the Father for whatever is in keeping with the things I've revealed to you. Ask in my name, according to my will, and he'll most certainly give it to you. Your joy will be a river overflowing its banks!"

John 16:17 - 24, The Message

Serving - then teaching. I wonder if Jesus felt any sense of desperation - this last chance to tell his disciples everything he wanted them to learn, before his death?

Somehow, I don't think he did. I think he lived in that moment, gaining satisfaction from those last few hours with his friends. I think he had such trust in his heavenly father that he knew he had done his best with them. He had other work to do later that evening, when he wrestled in the garden. But that was for later...

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