“I came forth from the Father, and have come into the world; I am leaving the world again, and going to the Father.” His disciples said, “Now you are speaking plainly, and are not using a figure of speech. Now we know that you know all things, and have not need for anyone to question you; by this we believe that you came from God.” Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me” (Jn 16:28-32).
Jesus is nearing the end of His upper room message to His disciples; a message of preview as to what is coming, a message of hope, a message of assurance, a message of promise, a message of comfort, and, as we see here based on the reaction of the disciples, a message of identity. Jesus identifies Himself as the One who “came forth from the Father”.
This identification fits the theme of the entire book of John as Jesus said many times that the only requirement to attain eternal life, the only requirement to become God’s child, is “to believe in Him who God has sent” (Jn 6:29). So Jesus comes back to this narrative here, describing Himself as the One whom God has sent. And the disciples are “getting” the message.
Jesus simply starts off this passage with four facts. “I came from the Father. I came into the world. I am leaving the world. I am going back to the Father.” Based on this testimony and three years of living it, the disciples respond with, “By this we believe that you came from God. We believe what you have said is true. We are ‘all in’ “.
Jesus then prophesies that even with this assurance that the disciples are “all in” as His followers, they are about to be scattered like sheep without a shepherd. In predicting the circumstances around His arrest, trial, and execution, Jesus assures His disciples that even though they will leave Him, He will not be left alone. The Father is with Him.
Now unlike the disciples at the time, we do know what came next. The disciples were scattered. And in Christ’s final prayer before His arrest, it is just the Father and the Son in the Garden of Gethsemane where we see a complete trust between the Father and the Son. As Christ faced His darkest hour, He asked for the cup of death to be removed from His path. But in praying to the Father, “Not My will, but yours be done” (Lk 22:42), Christ gave us a living breathing picture of what He had said from the beginning, “I have come to do the will of the Father” (Heb 10:7).