Living Hope Church, Little Falls
I’ve been thinking about the events that followed the death and resurrection of Jesus. For Jesus’ followers who witnessed him in his resurrected body, the joy of him coming back to life was about to turn into confusion and questioning.
In John 16:7, Jesus says to his followers: “It is for your good that I am going away.”
I can hear the disciples saying, “Yeah right, Jesus, did you ever hear the one about how this is going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt you?” “Jesus, how in the world can you say we’ll be better off with you gone? Have you seen what we’re like when you’re not around? We’re a mess!” “Jesus, there’s just no way it can be better for us for you to leave. You’ve always been right but you couldn’t be more wrong on this one.”
The disciples were fearful and confused because they didn’t hear the rest of the story. Jesus was leaving, but he wasn’t leaving them alone.
John 16:7, “But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.”
Earlier that evening, Jesus made a similar pronouncement. “… I will ask the Father, and he will give you another counselor to be with you forever, the Spirit of truth.” (John 14:16,17)
The counselor, or helper, Jesus was referring to was the Holy Spirit. The disciples would soon enter a new partnership with the Holy Spirit that would radically revolutionize their lives, their relationships and their world.
That’s exactly who the Holy Spirit was for the disciples and the early church and that’s exactly who the Holy Spirit wants to be in your life and mine. For many, the Holy Spirit is the least known or understood person of the Trinity. He was that way for the disciples. That’s why Jesus wanted his followers to meet and know the Holy Spirit in a personal and partnering way. The Lord wants the same for us.
It’s important to understand that the Holy Spirit isn’t an impersonal force. He wants to be as personal to us as Jesus was to the disciples. That’s why in John 14 Jesus refers to “another counselor.” The Greek word “another” means of the “same kind” like Jesus.
Jesus walked and worked with the disciples. In a similar way, the Holy Spirit wants to walk and work within us.
I’m so thankful that the spirit of God lives within the hearts of those who follow God. He draws us into relationship with the Father, through Jesus. He helps us to understand God’s Word, gives us counsel, comforts us and helps us to love others like Jesus Christ.
“Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” Galatians 5:25 NLT.