“The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!” (John 16:32-33)
The quote was used during a Unity-sponsored workshop on prosperity. Thanks! Light, Love, Power, Presence!
I have added the preceding verse to your request for John 16:33, since I think we need both to understand the meaning. Clearly, the question of why no one defended Jesus when authorities came to arrest him was a sensitive one in the early church. Directly in both Matthew (26:31) and Mark (14:27), and by inference here, Jesus is citing one of his favorite prophets, Zechariah (13:7), with his image of the sheep scattering when the shepherd is taken. Thus the failure of Jesus’ followers to defend or rescue him is presented as inevitable—God’s Will, foreseen by Jesus himself.
When we seek a metaphysical meaning by internalizing the imagery, we often find in our own lives a tendency to panic when a perceived ‘source’ of love and inspiration is taken. Our belief often borders on superstition; instead of embracing the Power of the Christ within us, we attribute it to another person, or book, or belief system. If our particular ‘source’ fails us in any way, we don’t know where to turn or what to believe. Our thoughts scatter like the sheep in Zechariah, lacking the focus that would keep them centered. Jesus himself does not have this problem, because his focus is not on an outside source, but on his innate Oneness with God as Source. It is in experiencing that Oneness that the fears and challenges of the world are dissolved. It is in following the teaching and example of Jesus Christ that we are able to find both courage and peace—and prosperity!