The disciples, along with Jesus, were sitting around the table enjoying a good meal. There was good conversation among friends. There were probably stories being told about what they had done during the day. There was probably some laughter as the stories were told. The platter of meat on the table was ready to be picked over one last time. The table was still littered with glasses of wine and scraps of bread. They were full of a good meal. It was turning into a good evenng with good friends. But all of a sudden Jesus spoke two little words that would stop everything. "I'm leaving." Didn't they know this was coming? Hadn't Jesus warned that they would have to carry on without Him? Hadn't He prepared them? Yes, He had. But they still sat there in stunned disbelief. They were like deer caught in the headlights. Their jaws dropped. Their eyes widened. They were amazed at the news.
They should have known this was no ordinary meal. They should have known from the moment He started washing their feet. They should have known by the way He blessed the cup and the bread. But they didn't. They were hearing these words for the first time. "I'm leaving."
When the shock finally subsided, they pleaded like scared children. "What? You're leaving? Where are you going? We don't understand." The disciples had a question for which they had no answer. How would they make it without Jesus by their side? That question has challenged every believer since Jesus of Nazareth went to Calvary. Yes, the presence of Christ is in our hearts, but our eyes long to see Him. We, like Thomas, want to touch the wounds He received on our behalf. But for now, we must wait for His return. So we find ourselves asking the same question the disciples ask. How do we continue to live while we wait?
Jesus began to share with His frightened followers the words they would need until He returned. These words would fill the void of those other two words. These words would guide and direct them. These words would give assurance. These words would give them the strength to live without Him by their side. We find those words as Jesus spoke them in the gospel of John, chapters 14-16. They were words of comfort. Words of warning. Words of encouragement. Words of caution. Word by word, phrase by phrase, He gave them the spiritual nourishment they would need to continue on. They were words He wants every believer to know - don't fear, stay close, trust me.
So, sit at the table with your Lord. Push the plate aside and read John 14:1 - 16:16. Drink and fill your heart with the words He offers you.