Lesson 53 of the Discipleship Making process.
Shortly after Judas departed the Last Supper, Jesus and the disciples came to the part of the meal known as the Maggid, the telling of the Passover story. At the beginning of the Maggid they would have partaken of the second cup of wine, the cup of judgment or instruction. Its intent was to remind those who participated in the meal how God had delivered His people (Exodus 6:6).
The telling of the Passover story is still done in the same manner. Children attending the meal ask four questions of the elders that invoke them to tell the story of the Passover by answering the questions. At the Last Supper, the disciples asked Jesus four questions, they were:
- Simon Peter - "Lord, where are You going?”
- Thomas - "Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”
- Philip - "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”
- Judas (not Iscariot) - “Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us, and not to the world?”
Jesus started the Maggid with a series of remarks. “Little children, I am with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’” This He spoke concerning His impending death for He knew full well that He would redeem His people by stretching out His arms upon the cross. In order to comfort the disciples Jesus began to prophesy.
God has always used prophecy to comfort His people. It reminds them that He has a special relationship with them through His word. And that He willingly provides direction while assuring them that He is in control (Isaiah 55:11). The Apostle Paul would later remark that prophecy should be the most sought after spiritual gift and that the “one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation.” (1 Corinthians 14:3)
Jesus spoke in the manner of a prophet that night by using both aspects of prophecy: foretelling (concerning the future) and forth-telling (declaring truth from God). He gave both short-term (ST) and long-term (LT) foretelling prophecies. Short-term prophecy was used to check the truthfulness of the prophet. If the prophet’s short-term prophecy did not come to pass then God’s people were to ignore the prophet, his long-term prophecies and any forth telling he did.
Since Peter had asked the question about where Jesus was going, Jesus responded to him first with a long-term prophecy. “Where I go(to the cross), you cannot follow Me now; but you shall follow Me later.” According to tradition, Peter was crucified upside down in Rome around 65 AD. Jesus followed that with a short-term prophecy. “Truly, truly, I say to you, a cock shall not crow, until you deny Me three times.” This happened within eight hours of Jesus speaking it.
Jesus issued a series of twenty foretelling prophecies to the disciples, which He introduced with the commandment, “Do not let your heart be troubled.” Then as if He were putting a parenthesis around them Jesus finished with a similar command, “Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” And for good measure He punctuated it with the statement, “Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe." Let’s look at the prophecies Jesus used to encourage, strengthen and console the disciples:
- I go to prepare a place for you. (LT)
- I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. (LT)
- He who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also. (ST-55 days)
- And greater works than these he will do. (ST– 55 days)
- Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do. (ST-55 days)
- If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. (ST-55 days)
- He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever. (ST-55 days)
- He abides with you and will be in you. (ST-55 days)
- I will not leave you as orphans. (ST-55days)
- I will come to you. (ST-4days)
- After a little while the world will no longer see Me, (ST-12 hours)
- But you will see Me; (ST-4 days)
- Because I live, you will live also. (LT)
- He who loves Me will be loved by My Father. (ST-55 days)
- He who loves Me I will love him. (ST-55 days)
- He who loves Me I will disclose Myself to him. (ST-55 days)
- We will come to him and make Our abode with him. (ST-55 days)
- He will teach you all things. (ST-55 days)
- He will bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. (ST-55days)
- Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. (ST-immediately)
In part 2 of this lesson, we will see the conclusion of Jesus’ instruction on “Peaceful Hearts”.
Until next time . . . Godspeed!