“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be remain in you and that your joy may be full.”  John 15:11

“These things I have spoken to you , that you should not be made to stumble.”  John 16:1

According to the Advanced Trial Handbook, the summation part of the trial is one of the most important parts.  Clarence Darrow, the famed defense attorney stated that he felt it was the most important part.

Jesus Christ is coming to the end of His ministry.  Some would say that He is coming to the point where He is going to face His trial.  Some would say that the entire time He spent on earth or at least the time He was completing His ministry was a trial.  Either way, He knows that He is going to go through it alone.  This is His last chance to talk with and minister to His disciples until He is resurrected.  Jesus knows this as well; the Holy Spirit is coming to them but has not come yet.  There will be a time when He has departed before the Holy Spirit comes.  He also knows that what the disciples have heard from Him and experienced with and because of Him over the years, is too overwhelming to be understood in total.  They will soon be faced with the prospect of being in the world without Jesus physically in their presence.  So Jesus takes some precious moments in summation of His life, His ministry and His mission.

And the summation works.  There is the evidence that Jesus has presented through His life.  There is the testimony that has been given about Him from the scriptures and from John the Baptist.  There has been the false accusations and cross examinations from Jesus’ enemies, which He masterfully refuted at every turn.  And now Jesus presents His summation to which His disciples respond:  “You are speaking plainly…..Now we are sure that You know all things…….we believe You come forth from God.”  (J0hn 16: 29-30)

Yet, His summation,  as in all of Jesus Christ’s ministry, is not just for His band of eleven disciples of that time.  No, His message is for all of us, down through the ages, who long to be counted among His disciples.  I don’t know about any of you, but I find as I read the scripture of Jesus ministry a longing to have actually been physically, bodily with Him, or to have Him physically, bodily here with me now (I am convinced of His spiritual presence).  So likewise, Jesus Christ knows that I need words that will bring Joy to me as well as help me not to stumble.  He knows that I need plain words helping me to believe that He came forth from God.

Finally, for those who think that my analogy of a trial and the fact that I/we are receiving a summation as if we were some type of jury, rightfully sitting in judgement, weighing evidence looking to give a verdict is in fact a false analogy, I quite completely agree.  God, Our Heavenly Father is real and Jesus Christ is His only begotten Son.  Whether we would say that we have received enough evidence to reach that judgement or not is irrelevant to the actual truth.  No it is not Jesus Christ who is facing a trial, it is us.  We will face many trials.  The world will make accusations against us due to our faith, sometimes openly, sometimes in whispers of “you fool”.  Sometimes to the world and sometimes even within ourselves, we will be called to give testimony defending our faith in Jesus Christ.  Interesting that our faith can also be termed; our conviction.  Yet understand this; the trial has already taken place; World vs Jesus Christ.  And the outcome was Christ’s victory.  Not being able to convict Christ, the world and its prince turns against you and I, His disciples, to put us on trial.  As we fall short, the finding and the judgement should be our guilt.  Yet Jesus Christ steps in and objects.  He testifies that He has taken our guilt upon Himself.  His summation is that, having taken all our guilt upon Himself, yet coming out victorious that, as the concept of double jeopardy demands, we can not be tried again for the same things.  That summation is our salvation.  Case closed, court is adjourned.

Our Most Gracious and Heavenly Father, Your mercy is far greater than we can comprehend.  That You would see a relationship with us as something of such value that You would ask Your Son to give His life for Our Salvation is practically too unimaginable to grasp.  Thus we thank you for the plain words of Jesus Christ that simplify Your Love for us in a way that we can grasp though not completely understand.  Give us the strength to stand the trials of this world and rely on You to provide us with the true testimony that will silence our critics.  Thank you that we have already been found innocent in Your eyes, not through our own worthiness but through the Gift of the Blood of Your Precious Son, Our Savior Jesus Christ.  It is in His Name, Jesus Christ we pray.  Amen