In ways they were much like the grand kids on a longer trip, saying, “papa, are we there yet?” But how much do I still sound like this, for sometimes I find myself doing and thinking the same things as the disciples did.
John 16, it seems, should be the epic heroes tale, with Jesus as the hero telling his troops (the boys) about the things of the future, a conquering victor, a life with that victor, and an end of the story that is beyond comprehension and belief, for nothing has ever turned out that good, except for one thing; this life they have lived in his presence.
Now if that is the way they thought then the idea of Jesus leaving them must have been unconscionable. If you are honest as you read chapter 16 you can see what I am talking about.
I did not lead this last Sunday, our co-leader did, but I always go ready; one never knows, besides, didn’t Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, tell us that we are to be ready all the time.
2 Timothy 4:2 GW Be ready to spread the word whether or not the time is right. Point out errors, warn people, and encourage them. Be very patient when you teach.
So when my partner threw out his first question, and you could cut the silence with a knife, I jumped in (I always have something to say.) Many times I refrain from saying things because I want the guys to interact. Interaction tells me that you are either learning, or at least invested in the story.
We did not cover the rest of the chapter the way I would have, but we finished.
I am not done yet. Let’s pick this up at John 16:13
John 16:13 ASV Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he shall guide you into all the truth: for he shall not speak from himself; but what things soever he shall hear, these shall he speak: and he shall declare unto you the things that are to come.
John 16:13 MKJV However, when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth. For He shall not speak of Himself, but whatever He hears, He shall speak. And He will announce to you things to come.
I am not the great theologian. If I were I would dissect this section where it talks about, “when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come,…”
This seems so impersonal, so vague, and yet we should understand that Jesus interacted with this same spirit when he was in the presence of the Father.
I could be wrong in interpreting this but it seems that Jesus was speaking of himself, not the spirit, when he said this:
John 14:18 I will not leave you orphans. I will come to you.
Loosely I could say he fulfilled this promise after he rose from the dead. He could not make this promise once he departed back to the Father, which was the trigger for the Holy Spirit to come, because none of the disciples would live on forever. Many died within months of this oration, others, like John, lived on for many years. And yet none had a physical visitation from Jesus Christ, (I think).
Having read the book, “The Shack”, where the Holy Spirit is an ethereal, undefinable entity, that seems to move as though he is responding to the slightest breeze. It becomes difficult to think of it as a he. Why not? Jesus came from the Father, so does the Spirit; Jesus does only what the Father tells him, so does the spirit. So the Spirit and Jesus fully carry the importance, and duty of the Father.
How would you go about trying to define the Holy Spirit, that is going to replace him, to a bunch of guys that apparently are coming apart at the seams?
“when the Spirit of truth comes,”
We already understand that Jesus had laid out what would occur: his death, his resurrection, his ascent to the Father, and his word that they Comforter would come to them. This is all in the near future to them.
Spirit of – pneuma – We find this throughout scripture. This is the Holy Spirit.
Jude 1:20-21 NASB But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, (21) keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.
2 Timothy 1:12-14 NASB For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day. (13) Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. (14) Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.
1 John 4:13 NASB By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.
Truth – alētheia – what is true in any matter under consideration.
This concept is something I ran across while involved in the faith movement. I had no idea that the Word itself conveyed this meaning. Circumstances may say otherwise but God’s word is true regardless of the circumstances around you.
Comes – to be established, find its place, become known, and shows itself.
“he will lead you into all the truth;”
hodēgeō – to be a guide, lead on one’s way, to guide.
I suppose that all we have to do is to trust him. Having been raised to be negative and not trust, I find it difficult at times to decide whose voice I am hearing. Therefore, We are forced to live by faith and have to learn to trust.
Again, the wide view is to say that with the Holy Spirit to guide me, then I probably do not need a pastor. Somehow I feel like this is inappropriate, and yet how much less appropriate is it to argue against God’s word.
I will be honest. I go to church, and I enjoy my Pastor’s messages. My concept of Pastor has had to change as I have a variety of relationships with such. This one has been my pastor for about seven years and we have shaken hands, perhaps twice. Compare this lack of contact with the pastor that I used to ride motorcycles with. I suppose that is the drawback of a large church. Selah.
Sometimes though, like when I have been up since sunrise, and now, hours later, I am sitting in a comfortable chair, I fall asleep, far too often.
If I were to choose my greatest reason for being at church I would have to say that it is the people, for so many of these people have become family to me. Yes, I deeply value worship. It is the time that opens me up spiritually, and I always find myself pouring my heart out in prayer during worship. But having “family” that understands and makes themselves available when I am struggling, and they with me.
Honestly, if each one of us has the Holy Spirit in them, capable of teaching them, and guiding them, then our greatest draw should be the interaction with others.
If you have no idea what I am talking about, then I suggest you come to know this Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit will come into you and fill you with the power and presence of the living God. You will be a member of the family and Jesus will come to restore us to the Father once again.
Time is short.
Practice loving on people and enjoy this life we have in Christ.
If you do not know this Jesus, nor have a hope of salvation from the onslaught that is coming, I suggest that you give him your life and take his in return. Jesus said he would come into you and abide in you, that is the Holy Spirit of God he is talking about. Along with this relationship comes an assurance that he will come again and take you to be with him and the Father in a lasting, eternal relationship. A life that is beyond anything that you can imagine (I, and others, have come up with some wild scenarios like plants that light up when you touch them or make music as they emit colors). Enough weirdness. Just know that God loves you and longs to have you rejoin the family.
- The Gift That Keeps on Giving – John 15:26 (stevesbiblemeditations.com)
- John 16: The Helper (t2pneuma.net)
- Strength in the Local Church (etsop95.wordpress.com)
- Sermon: Gifts and qualities of the Holy Spirit (christonline.wordpress.com)
- “How Can I Get More of the Holy Spirit?” (924jeremiah.wordpress.com)
- Isaiah 41:10 NKJV – God is with us (pagprayer.wordpress.com)
- The Holy Spirit (adventuresforalifetime.wordpress.com)