One of the best newspaper cartoons is Calvin and Hobbes. One day Calvin comes
marching into the living room early one morning. His mother is seated there in her
favourite chair. She is sipping her morning coffee. She looks up at young Calvin. She is amused and amazed at how he is dressed. Calvin’s head is encased in a large
space helmet. A cape is draped around his neck, across his shoulders, down his back and is dragging on the floor. One hand is holding a flashlight and the other a baseball bat.
“What’s up today?” asks his mum.
“Nothing, so far,” answers Calvin.
“So far?” she questions.
“Well, you never know,” Calvin says, “Something could happen today.” Then Calvin
marches off, “And if anything does, by golly, I’m going to be ready for it!”
Calvin’s mum looks out at the reading audience and she says, “I need a suite like that!”
That’s the way many of us feel as we see the news and deal with life. Sometimes
this world seems too violent and people seem to be at each other’s throats. A suit
like that would help, so we can say along with Calvin, “Whatever may come my way,
I’m going to be ready for it! Bring it on!”
Well, I don’t have a suit like Calvin’s to give you this morning, but I do have some
important words from Jesus this morning to enable us to say, “Whatever may come
my way, I’m going to be ready for it! Bring it on!”
It is the night of the Last Supper. Jesus has just spoken of his impending death. He
tells the disciples that one of them will betray him and urges Judas to go and do
quickly what he has planned to do.
Peter boldly claims that he would rather die than deny his Lord, but Jesus knows that before the rooster crows he will say three times that he does not know the man they are talking about.
Jesus talks about going where they cannot follow and they are confused about this.
Haven’t they followed Jesus for the past 3 years? They have watched him heal the
sick, they have seen him bring comfort to the afflicted and laughter to the faces of
children. Not a day has past where Jesus has not been with them. Their sole thought
and attention has been him since the day they were called. And now they are faced
with the thought of life without him. Where is he going that they can’t continue to
follow him in the future?
Jesus knows that what will happen his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, his
trial and tortuous death the next day will upset them.
Like a child lost in a department store, these disciples are afraid, uncertain, confused and nervous. And so he continues saying,
“Do not be worried and upset. Believe in God and believe also in me….
Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid”
(John 14:1, 27).
In the New Testament, the peace Jesus gives is an unconditional, eternal gift to his
followers in every time and place. That’s why he does not give peace to us as the
world doesfor the world, peace is often very conditional, fragile, temporary, and, is