”All this I have told you so that you will not go astray.” (John 16:1 NIV)
If one reads today’s Bible verse in isolation it’s likely that the word this would prompt curiosity relevant to its meaning. This refers back to what is written in the two previous chapters in John’s Gospel. There we can read that we are to fear no uncertainty, but put all our trust in God. It states that Jesus will pray to the Father and that He will give us a helper, the Spirit of truth. It says that the Spirit of truth will teach us all we need to know and remind us of what Jesus has said to us. It reads that He wants to change our status from being servants to becoming His friends. And it is written that it is He Himself who has chosen us and decided that we are to go into the world and bear fruit that lasts.
These are wonderful promises that each Christian can take to heart. But there are also a few admonitions. It states for example, that every branch that bears fruit, He prunes. We must be prepared for the pruning that is necessary for the fruit in our life to be alive. There is the requirement that He remains in us and that requires us to remain in Him. There is the encouragement that we shall love each other, and lastly there is the identification explanation. Jesus explains that as a Christian I no longer belong to this world. He has called me out of the world.
Therefore, the world hates us. They hate because they have not learned to know the Father nor have they learned to know Jesus. All this Jesus has told us ‘so that you will not go astray’. It is therefore very important that we listen carefully.
Jesus, thank You that Your Word provides us with directions on the road. Thank You for the peace we find in placing our faith in You and thank You that we can allow our anxiety to wane. Thank You for the assurance that You will send the Spirit of truth to help us. Thank You for allowing us to be Your friends and thank You that You have chosen us and called us out of this world to live our lives in Your Kingdom.