We are continuing with Jesus’ goodbye. He is explaining why things are going to get difficult shortly. He is also clearly saying that those who continue to reject Him will no longer have any excuse.
Before the cross, there were those who were refusing to believe Jesus’ words. Part of that was God’s plan. He didn’t make them refuse Jesus, but He knew their hearts better than they did themselves. He was simply stating the future that He clearly saw from His vantage point outside of time constraints. But now that His work was nearly done, those who chose to continue in unbelief would have that added to their account of sin.
“If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin” (verse 22). “If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they wound not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both Me and My Father” (verse 24). But ALL these people had seen and had heart the truth. Refusing the truth now is what makes their actions sin.
On the cross Jesus would speak words of forgiveness for those passing this judgement on Him, but that would be the last time He did so. After that day, man would have to seek out Him and ask Him to forgive them. One last chance.
Jesus knew what was coming next for all His disciples. He knew they were going to have a lot of trouble once He left. The world would try to make them suffer the same fate as Jesus did, because of Who they followed. They hated Jesus so they also hated anyone following Jesus’ example. What the world had done to Jesus would shortly be done to them.
Jesus’ personal presence would be removed and that special protection would be gone. But the disciples wouldn’t be left alone. The Holy Spirit would be with them in Jesus place. There would be a new relationship with wonderful new benefits. The first of which would be understanding of all that Jesus had shared with them before. They would finally have the key to unlock the wealth of wisdom Jesus left behind.
Jesus couldn’t share the full understanding with His disciples while He was with them because then God’s plan would be in danger. God also kept those listening to Jesus’ teachings blinded for the same reason. Once the work was complete that barrier would be lifted. All those who sought understanding would find it through the Holy Spirit.
THANK YOU GOD that I don’t have to try and figure it all out on my own. Thank You for sending Your Spirit to open my mind to Jesus’ words. Thank You that the Spirit reminded each of the authors of the points Jesus wanted to share with each intended audience. Thank You that even today, Your Spirit opens Your word to me.
I don’t like the part about being hated by the world, but I will gladly walk the paths that You walked, wherever they lead. Here in America the hatred isn’t really strong, yet. But I trust You and Your Holy Spirit will be with me if ever I do face true persecution. Help me stay strong and boldly proclaim Your name, no matter what. I love You Lord more than anything else, including my life. Without You I am NOTHING!