33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Jesus here looked beyond the dire situation of the apostles’ defection from Him in His time of need. He offered them a word of encouragement here, a parting legacy.
33 These things I have spoken to you,
“These things” here probably refer to the entire upper room discourse (Jn 14-16).
that [purpose] in Me
“In Me” expresses means. That is, Jesus Himself was the resource of “peace” for the apostles. By being joined to Jesus, there was prerogative.
you may have peace.
It was the purpose of Jesus that the apostles had “peace.” Although they might forsake Him and carry shame because of it, they could still have His assurance of His peace. He would love them despite their failures.
Although the apostles might desert Jesus during His time of crisis, He assured them that they could have “peace” by following Him (Jn 14:27). “Peace” means to be whole. This would come “in Me.” Believers would share a community of being in Christ.
In the world you will have tribulation;
The unregenerate world would give the apostles trouble. The word “tribulation” carries the idea of intense pressure; trouble would close in all around them. The idea of “tribulation” is something very difficult, not some causal problem. There is a contrast between the life that believers should lead and the reality that they will face. Jesus made it patently clear that believers will face significant trouble in life.
but be of good cheer,
“Of good cheer” carries the idea of taking courage. The apostles could have courage amid the real problems they would face.
I [emphatic] have overcome the world.”
Jesus would “overcome the world” during His coming crucifixion. His return to the Father gave climax to this victory. The words “have overcome” is in a Greek tense that means Jesus’ victory would take place even before His crucifixion (proleptic perfect tense). His victory was an abiding one.
“Overcome” is from the Greek verb nikaw. We derive the English noun “Nike” from this term. Nike was a winged Greek goddess. She represented the victory of a conquering hero. It is ironic that Jesus would claim victory in the shadow of the cross.
Christians possess the legacy of Jesus’ very own peace.
What happened to the Master will happen with the disciple. Tribulation will come to Jesus and tribulation will be the experience of His disciples. However, since Jesus overcame the world, His disciples overcome the world.
Following Jesus is no superficial experience. Christians must take a realistic attitude toward the problems they will face. They need to be genuine about the problems they will face as believers.
The peace of Christ rests on the idea that we are “in Him.” Jesus gained victory over death (1 Co 15:55, 57). The believer can have victory over the world (1 Jn 5:4,5). Note these contrasts:
“In Me” vs. “in this world”
“You may have” vs. “you will have”
“Peace” vs. “tribulation”