‘Nevertheless, hereafter…’

From Andrew Stewart, New Life Church Derby

Jesus said to him (the high priest), “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”  Matthew 26v64 (NKJV)

I’d like us to consider these remarkable words of Jesus, spoken in reply to the demand of the high priest, “Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!”

Here is Jesus, facing His greatest humiliation.

He had been betrayed by Judas – Judas whom He loved and had spent time with for three years. Then following His arrest in the garden, verse 56 tells us “all the disciples forsook Him and fled.” Then two false witnesses spoke against Him in a kind of makeshift court. He was also about to be physically struck by soldiers, spat on and made fun of. On top of that, one of His closest disciples, Peter, was about to deny Him three times.

Yet, in the middle of all this incredible amount of what we might call ‘negative circumstances’, the sheer clarity of vision that Jesus showed was amazing!

It’s hard to imagine a worse set of circumstances:

Betrayal of a friend, and being deserted by everyone who followed Him.

False accusation. Being treated like a criminal. Physical abuse and mocking. Even worse physical and spiritual pain just around the corner.

But the clarity of vision and faith of Jesus is amazing!

“Nevertheless, hereafter…” or in another translation, “But I tell you, from now on…”

Instead of weakness, there will be power.

Instead of shame, there will be glory.

Instead of mocking and beating, there will be worship.

Let’s take courage from these words of Jesus and seek to follow His example.

Are you struggling with negative circumstances today? Have you lost your job? Lost a position of influence? Been let down by others? Have you been falsely accused of something?  Take heart. There is a “Nevertheless, hereafter…”

Have patience, bear the tribulation, and with the eye of faith and vision look forward to a much brighter future.

Are you experiencing physical illness, infirmity or weakness?

God can restore you to full health and strength in this life, and ultimately you will have a new body with no weakness or illness of any kind.

Do you feel downcast because of your sins, or even because of others’ sins and their hardness of heart which seems impenetrable?  There can always be a ‘Nevertheless, hereafter…’ where sin is confessed, forgiveness is received and the hard heart replaced with a heart of flesh. Even on a national scale, when present circumstances look bleak, we can believe for a turnaround.

If we follow Jesus with humility and obedience, we can expect a brighter future. The storm will pass. The shadows will flee away. To have hope and expectancy for the future whatever our present circumstances, let’s constantly cultivate a ‘Nevertheless, hereafter…’ mindset.

Andrew Stewart