Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Full reading – John 16:1-33
12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”
Jesus is drawing some very incredible conclusions here. In fact He tells them there’s a lot more to this story but you won’t be able to understand it yet. Sometimes we feel that we too can’t take in any more. Let me digest what I’ve already got. In the previous verses, Jesus is telling his disciples that He is going away. In fact He has to go away so the advocate (comforter, helper) can come. Jesus is going to send Him. We have come to know this comforter as the Holy Spirit; in Acts 1:8 just before Jesus is received up into heaven, He tells his disciples: “ But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” And this was confirmed in the upper room in Acts 2:1-4.
We may have some preconceived ideas what the Holy Spirit means. What is it to be “filled with the Spirit”? What is it to “trust the Holy Spirit”?. Let’s look at a little background in the life of Jesus. Even before Jesus was born: “This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Mt 1:18
When Jesus was baptized by John in the river Jordan: “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Mt 3:11 and again: “and Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: an, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon Him.” Mt 3:16. Immediately afterward, “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.” Lk 4:1. When healing and performing miracles: “But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” MT 12:28. And the Old Testament through the Kings and the book of Psalms, many references are made to the “Spirit of God” coming upon someone being made ready for some task.
The disciples, after Jesus’ resurrection, were gathered in the upper room. Not because they were having a church service, but because they were afraid of persecution and not knowing what to do next, now that Jesus was no longer with them. Then as they prayed together, they were “filled with the Holy Spirit” – they were overcome with the power of God, and they were emboldened to continue the works of Jesus. The conviction and courage they needed to be witnesses for Christ only came about when they were led by the Spirit of God. God surfaced through them, they diminished. This not only fulfilled Jesus’ words before his ascension into heaven, but also by the prophet Joel: “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. “ Joel 2:28-29
We place unerring trust in the Word of God. The written word wasn’t penned by the finger of God, but by Moses, David, Paul, Matthew, and others. And we trust this word we call the Bible, not because of these men were so great in and of themselves (remember they were all human and had faults just like us), but because we believe they were inspired by the Spirit of God speaking to them. “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” Jn 14:26
We believe and trust that Jesus is our Redeemer, that He died for our sins, that He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. We believe that He will never leave us or forsake us, and that He lives within each one of us who proclaim and believe He is our savior. And He has not left us alone, but we have the Holy Spirit to teach and guide us. Through the Holy Spirit we get our direction, we get our purpose, we have the strength and courage to continue on when all is against us. Through the Holy Spirit God strengthens our weak places and gives us a vision of what is to come. We have access to the power of God through the Holy Spirit. To do incredible and marvelous things for God. To Glorify Him.
PRAYER – Psalm 104:30-31; 33-34
You send forth Your Spirit, they are created: and You renew the face of the earth.
The glory of the Lord shall endure forever: the LORD shall rejoice in His works.
I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
My meditation of Him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord