“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” [John 3:16]
This morning I am so humbled and amazed as I once again consider what Christ did for us as we step into Passion Week. He did it for all of us, but would have done it for even one of us!!
How would you like to start a new job with your boss telling you: “Welcome to the team. I need to tell you that because your working here people will kick you out of church, no one will talk to you and they will kill you. Oh yeah, I almost forgot…I’m leaving. Ready to start?”
Seems crazy, but that’s kind of how chapter 16 starts for the disciples. It had to be a little overwhelming for them, but then Jesus takes time to introduce a game changer…the Counselor. [a.k.a. the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, etc.]
The disciples would have the gift of the Holy Spirit, but He couldn’t come until Jesus left. He is called the “parakletos”. “Para” means “beside”, and “kletos” means “to be called”. He is the one called to be beside, and Jesus identifies 5 things he will do:
1. Convict [v.8]
2. Guide into all truth [v.13]
3. Speak only what he hears [v.13]
4. Tell what is yet to come [v.13]
5. Bring glory to Jesus [v.14]
In the face of impending persecution, Jesus tells His disciples that they would not be alone. They would have someone to lead them deeper in knowledge, truth, and give them strength to endure trials and persecutions. They would have a comforter, counselor, advocate and guide; but they still end up asking questions. In verses 17-18, they ask each other instead of asking Jesus. It seems ridiculous, but we do the same thing today.
We ask each other questions. Lots of ’em, which isn’t inherently bad. However, most of the time, we really need to be asking Jesus instead.
Are you asking others questions you should really be asking Jesus?
With the Holy Spirit, we can have those conversations. Jesus said he would change his communication from figurative parables to plain language, and the disciples have an “ah-ha” moment. The light goes on. After all this time, they believe [v.29-30] and, Jesus responds with a resounding…FINALLY! [ref. v. 31]
However, the celebration is short-lived as Jesus tells them they will be scattered. But He gives them…and us…the ultimate comfort. Check it out:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” [v.33]
O Praise HIM!