4 But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them. “And these things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you.
4 But [emphatic] these things I have told you,
Jesus related the warning in the first three verses so that the apostles would not be surprised by radical reaction to their ministry.
that when the time comes,
The apostles needed to remember that, when persecution came to them, Jesus had warned them that it would happen. It should be no shock to them.
you may remember that I told you of them.
Jesus warned the apostles about coming persecution because He wanted to strengthen their faith. None of these things were outside our Lord’s knowledge or control.
“And these things I did not say to you at [from] the beginning,
Our Lord did not share the new economy of the church with the apostles at the beginning of His public ministry because He had just launched His attention to Israel. After the nation attributed the works of Jesus to Satan, He turned from offering the kingdom to Israel to begin the church.
because I was with you.”
Jesus’ presence with the apostles would shortly—within a few weeks—come to an end. The Holy Spirit was about to descend to permanently indwell the church when it began on the day of Pentecost.
To be forewarned is to be forearmed.
To be forewarned is to be forearmed. Presumption of trouble in ministry will save us from many of headaches. No minister of Christ should ever conclude that it is odd that he or she should suffer for Christ (1 Peter 4:12). Peter understood what Jesus said about trouble that would come to Christians when he wrote years later. The apostle Peter alluded to Matthew 5:10-12 twice—once in 1 Peter 3:14 and again in 1 Peter 4:14. He clearly understood that trouble is the lot of those who claim the name of Christ (Php 1:29; 2 Ti 3:12).
Jesus never suggested that, when persecution comes to believers, they should retreat from sharing the gospel. There is no hint of that idea. Our Lord never presented the idea that following Him would be free from trouble.