16:9 "His disciples said to Him, “See, now You are speaking plainly, and using no figure of speech! 30 Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God.”
When Jesus finishes His somewhat cryptic explanation the disciples respond enthusiastically that they get it and that He is speaking plainly. They are sure now that He is from God. Why the outburst of confidence? Why the sudden change in them? It goes back to verses 18 and 19 actually. They had been confused and we're embarrassed to ask Jesus for clarification of what He was saying. Jesus stepped into their private thoughts and hushed conversation by telling then exactly what they were thinking. It was this alone that captured the eleven. Jesus knew their unspoken thoughts pretty much word for word. When Jesus went on to explain that He came from God and was returning to God it clicked for them. The concept became fixed in their understanding. Jesus was not just an amazing guy from Nazareth. He came from heaven. He came from God. He knows their very thoughts. "Finally you are speaking plainly to us! We believe you know all things and we believe that you came from God!"
Jesus response to their confession is both sad and reassuring if that can be possible. Here it is:
16:31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32 Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. 33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
There is so much here that we will definitely return tomorrow and maybe another day as well.
For now the sad part is that Jesus knows we are weak and prone to unbelief. The reassuring part is that Jesus knows we are weak and prone to unbelief. Here the eleven after 3.5 years have finally grasped who Jesus is or at least where He came from. "We believe..." Jesus promptly steps in and throws cold water on their confidence. He tells them flat out that they don't really believe and soon, almost immediately they are going to abandon Him and scatter. How can they argue? They just confessed that they believe He knows all and has no need for anyone to inform Him of anything.
Then Jesus says this: "These things I have spoken to you so that in Me you may have peace."
How much peace would you have if the One that you believe knows all, even your unspoken thoughts, tells you that you don't really believe and are going to abandon Him? Peace? What does He mean?
Are you ready?
We have been taught that it is our faith/belief that will save us. Jesus died and rose but we must believe. It is true that we must believe but the deception is that we focus on our belief as the thing to believe in. My strong faith will save me...
Jesus however is systematically exposing the "faith" of the eleven. They don't have any. They think they do but they don't. Soon they will find out how true it is. How can they have peace knowing their own belief is a mirage of nothingness?
Let's face the facts. If our peace is built on our faith we have no foundation and therefore no peace. If our peace is based on Jesus' love and commitment to save us despite our well intentioned but weak kneed faith then we have something. Then we have everything. Then our eyes shift from the mirror to the heavens where Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us. First to last it is Him. A truth we struggle to grasp. A reality we fail to see as it truly is.
Jesus knows our hearts. It didn't stop Him. It propelled Him forward. He knew without His saving grace we were forever lost. There is no peace in the mirror but there is peace in Him.