There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. (John 16:12)
Jesus said this to His disciples as He was preparing them for the end. His arrest, crucifixion and resurrection were coming next. Events they were completely unprepared for.
When I read this short sentence this past week I stopped in my tracks.
When I am reading my Bible, especially the words of Jesus (in red), I am looking for a message, something I need to hear right now. I always want to be careful and not end up talking to myself, hearing what I want to hear. I want to learn more and more to trust in the Holy Spirit to guide me as I read, be still, and listen (John 16:13).
So, when I read this sentence I stopped and had to think and pray about what it meant. I had read this larger story many, many times before. This time, the sentence jumped out for several reasons.
There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now.
- What if this is still true about the way God relates to his followers today? Does He still want to communicate and tell me things? Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice…” (John 10:27). He is like a shepherd guiding, guarding and caring for his flock (us).
- What if God’s message to me is waiting for me to get caught up? What if I’m not ready? What if He’s waiting on me, not the other way around? “The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust” (Psalm 103:13-14).
- What if God is preparing me in so many ways as I follow Him (stumbling and bumbling), to be able to hear even more from Him? What if He has a message like this one Jesus gave to His disciples for me? What if my Heavenly Father has much more that He wants to tell me? “Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son” (Hebrews 1:1-2). God isn’t holding back his love, grace and knowledge from me, he’s caring for me and telling me exactly what I’m ready to hear.
What I learned this week from this single sentence is that God has heavenly things to share with me but that his revelation is always measured by his care for me.
So many wonderful things to hear and learn as I walk every day in friendship with Jesus. That relationship is the source of revelation for me and all of us.
“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” ― Henri Nouwen