It was a high point of understanding for the disciples. Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! (John 16:29) Finally! You’re giving it to us straight, in plain talk – no more figures of speech. (The Message Bible)
What exactly did Jesus say that produced this “aha moment” for his followers? The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. (16:25-27)
He alluded to it in countless parabolic discourse, crystal clear to us in retrospect, but only figures of speech to the first time hearers. The circuit of heart connect with Abba was being soldered in. They got it! Message received and understood. The “aha moment” had arrived. Mystery is the forerunner for revelation.
As they were basking in their new-found clarity, Jesus continued: Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. 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. (16:32-33)
Jesus was building in them a resolve that would carry them through the tribulation that lay ahead. Jesus abiding in Abba meant that He was never alone, and neither will we, ever be alone, no matter the darkness, no matter the cross we are called to bear. Jesus as the Son of man knew what it felt like to be forsaken on the cross, but Jesus as the eternal Word was always in the bosom of the Father. As with our Lord so it shall be with us.
He alludes to the “moment” in his high priestly prayer to the Father: Now they know that everything you have given me is from you….(they) have come to know in truth that I came from you and they have believed that you sent me. (17:7-8)
We surmise that we can handle the straight talk from God, pure revelation, uncut from the Throne. In reality, we grasp in crumb-like volumes and it nearly overwhelms us. The “cushion of mystery” as I call it, keeps our finite minds from exploding. One of the most challenging components for me is the prying away of my white knuckle grip on falsehood in order to posture myself to receive the truth. It’s not so much the inability to believe the new revelation as it is the struggle to stop believing the tenured lies.
I live for the “aha moments” of clarity, that have no expiration date; moments that blend into and renew, the foundational structure of my heart for the ongoing journey.