Jesus continues to prepare His disciples for life after He is gone. I’m certain they don’t realize what He is doing but we do. Just hours before the most stressful time Jesus will ever face, He is involved in caring for those who have been faithfully following Him. That’s love!
Jesus asks His disciples to think back to the time He sent them out to minister to the people in His name. He asked them if they lacked anything while they were about His business. They confirmed that, even though they had taken nothing for their journey, they lacked nothing. They were cared for by those they ministered to and by God Himself. But things are about to change.
Because of what Jesus could do for the people, He was very welcome and sought after by the common people. Things have been changing the closer He gets to the cross. His messages have become harder for the people to take, especially when He said to eat His flesh and drink His blood.
He is REALLY on the outs with the religious leaders. They are becoming downright dangerous! They are trying to find even the smallest fault in His teaching so they can turn the people against Him. They are also in the final stages of planning His death as Jesus and His disciples speak.
Jesus knows all of this. He also knows that after His death and resurrection that His followers are going to be virtual outcasts in their own society. Yes, there will be many who join Jesus’ disciples in their decision to follow Him, but there would be a permanent rift between Jesus and the Jewish religion. That rift would be their undoing and His death sentence. They would not accept Him as their Messiah so they had to criminalize Him. Jesus Himself would provide them with their final “evidence” when the time was right.
So now is the time for Jesus’ disciples to start preparing for tougher times ahead. This doesn’t mean that God is not providing for them any longer. God still meets their needs, but the overwhelming provision is not going to continue. Jesus won’t be with them walking the final steps of God’s overall plan. They will have His Holy Spirit in their live instead. They will have His power and authority in the spiritual world and its workings in the physical world but the day to day will be harder. Persecution is coming and He wants His disciples to be ready for it. It starts with Jesus’ death.
Father God, I wish everyone would simply recognize Your truths and turn to You. I feel sorry for the people who refuse to listen. I pray my children and grandchildren will finally listen. I wish I could see Your Spirit in action like Jesus’ disciples did. I know You are the same yesterday, today, and forever. I would love to see some of the miracles Jesus’ disciples saw. I suppose they received more because more was needed in the beginning than it I now. I have SO MANY questions when we finally meet face to face. Until then, I will enjoy the Holy Spirit in my life and my walk with You.