31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32 Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.
The apostles made a claim to believe in Jesus, but they were still weak in their commitment to Him.
Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe?
This may have been a mild rebuke to the apostles’ commitment to Him under persecution. Jesus reproached them for their pretension. They still did not grasp the full implications of what it meant to believe in Jesus. Their faith was real but inadequate.
Jesus now acknowledged at face-value that they finally grasped and believed His message. However, it was a faith that needed further development.
Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come,
Jesus’ point here was that the apostles had not yet come to understand the implications of faith in Him. In a matter of hours, they would abandon their Lord.
Although the apostles now had a measure of understanding of who Jesus was, that would not keep them from deserting Him during His time of crisis. Their sense of abandonment by Jesus would cause them to flee from the problems ahead and even from Jesus Himself. They would evidently forget that He said that He would not leave them orphans (Jn 14:18).
that you will be scattered,
During Jesus’ trial and crucifixion, His followers would scatter from His presence (Zech 13:7; Mt 26:31).
each to his own, and will leave Me [emphatic] alone.
Jesus’ prophecy of the apostles deserting Him was fulfilled (Mt 26:56; Jn 18:17, 25-26). The emphasis on “Me” carries this idea: “Me, of all people, you will leave alone.” His very close friends would forsake Him.
And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.
The fickle apostles would forsake Jesus, but His Father would never do this (Jn 8:29). He was never alone. The phrase “is with Me” indicates that the Father is always with Jesus (present tense).
The foundations of the church do not rest on the apostles but on the Lord.
Many believers make claims of belief in Jesus but are weak in commitment to follow Him. Persecution produces strange reactions among God’s people. Misleading self-assurance will undermine the Christian life. This happened later when John wrote his first epistle (1 Jn 2:19). Cerinthus attempted to introduce incipient gnosticism to the church. Pressure should never make a believer change his views.