19 Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He. 20 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”
Now I tell you before it comes,
Jesus told His disciples about Judas the betrayer because He did not want them to be disillusioned about Judas’ actions. Treachery tends to undermine faith.
that when it does come to pass,
When Judas’ betrayal would come to pass, then the disciples would know what had happened—that it was in the plan of God from the beginning. Jesus prepared His disciples for the shock of Judas’ betrayal. He told His followers that this was no surprise to Him. Jesus would be no victim in His death on the cross.
The key point of verse 19 is the time element. The faith of the disciples would be challenged at the betrayal and crucifixion of Jesus. When everything that Jesus spoke of came to pass, it would be evidence of who He claimed to be.
you may believe that I am He.
Knowing that Judas’ actions were in the plan of God would strengthen the disciples’ faith.
Most assuredly, I say to you,
We have another emphatic statement in this verse by the words “most assuredly” (literally amen, amen). Jesus spoke here of the certainty of the correlation between the teaching of Jesus and the Father.
he who receives whomever I send receives Me;
The disciples personally represented Jesus in who they were and what they did. It is impossible to accept the one and reject the other; if people reject Jesus’ messengers, they deny Him.
and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”
If we accept the person of Christ, we embrace the Father as well (Jn 10:30). We cannot accept the one and not the other. Those whom Jesus sends must keep their identity and mission, although they may face duress and trial in ministry. We remain ambassadors for Christ through it all.
Our mission takes on the same significance as our Lord’s.
Although Jesus was about to be betrayed, He was no hopeless victim. Christians should not assume the role of a victim either. People may exercise treacherous acts against us, but it is how we respond with our attitude that is the most important point at stake.
To assume this kind of attitude, we need to prepare our souls in advance for it. Significant intake of the principles of God’s Word is necessary to conquer what would be our normal proclivities. An attitude is a habit of thinking, and a habit takes repeated use to form a stable attitude.
Not only is Jesus the Father’s agent, but we are Jesus’ divine agents as well. Those in His service know that there will be resistance to their ministry. We are under a divine mission (2 Co 5:18-21).
As ambassadors for Christ we must keep our calling in view. No matter the problems that come our way, we still hold that same status. If anyone rejects our message, they reject God’s messenger (Mt 10:40). We let the chips fall where they may.
Some things are not over when it appears that they are over. An ambassador of Jesus, even if he is betrayed, is still an ambassador. Trials and failure may come our way in ministry, but we still represent God as ambassadors.
People stand on their dignity when trouble comes; rather, they ought to rest on God’s provisions. The desire for prominence is a big problem with many Christians. There is an unwillingness to take a subordinate place to serve the Lord. No wonder Christianity is not what it should be in today’s evangelical world.