The gospel for this coming Sunday (Sixth Sunday of Easter) is John 16:23-33. Jesus now comes to the end of his farewell discourse (Jn 14–16). Shortly he will offer his High Priestly Prayer (Jn 17) and be betrayed in the Garden of Gethsemane (18:1–11).
In only a few hours the apostles “will be scattered.” That will leave Jesus physically alone. Yet even in that betrayal, Jesus knows “the Father is with me.” Jesus knew that, when he came from heaven to save people from their sins, there would be times when he would be forsaken by even his closest of friends. But, Jesus always knew that he was not alone in carrying out God’s plan of salvation.
No doubt the disciples also felt alone when they forsook Jesus and went into hiding for fear of the Jewish leaders. Whether they knew or not, they were not left alone. God through his Savior Son would come to them instead of expecting them to come back to Jesus. Even here in this text and before he is crucified, Jesus gives them the comforting news that will be able to pray to Father in his same. The very one whom they had abandoned, would be their mediator when coming to the Father.
We, too, may very well feel all alone at times. There is much isolation in our world these days. Our focus on our devices often cut us off from even our own families. Our own sinful lives can have the effect of being forsaken totally quarantined.
For the sake of the disciples and us Jesus ends this text saying: “ I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” We also have the promise made to Joshua when he was about take over for Moses: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus Christ, thank you that when we face temptation and trouble in this world, we can take heart that Christ has overcome the world for our sake. O Christ, in crisis situations, give me the peace only You can give. Amen. (TLSB)