During the last week of His earthly life, Jesus knew that he would be betrayed, arrested, tried and crucified. It was all a part of His Father’s plan to reconcile man to Himself. The Gospel of John contains a very long dissertation, in which Jesus talks to His disciples about things that are to come.
Jesus knew His time was short, but He also understood that the disciples would not fully understand. They had grown attached to Him. But Jesus wanted them to know that when He had gone, they would have a counselor to teach and guide them.
Why it matters
God does not leave His people high and dry. Jesus was with His disciples for a short period of time, but he did not abandon them. The third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, was sent to believers to guide and comfort.
Filled with the Holy Spirit, the disciples became Apostles and spread the good news throughout the known world.
Filled with the Holy Spirit, people today continue the ministry of Jesus, doing that which they never imagined they were capable of doing, or making decisions to serve mankind, rather than pursuing a life of comfort and prominence.
“All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me.
4 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, 5 but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things.
7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
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.”
Why it matters to you
Followers of Jesus receive the Holy Spirit and, just as Jesus said, the Spirit guides and informs. The Spirit helps people to understand God’s Word. The Spirit brings illumination and meaning to the information in the Bible.
The Spirit helps people discern information and cast aside misinformation. The Holy Spirit comforts and encourages. The Holy Spirit is the gentle hand of God that guides and protects as we follow Jesus.
Jesus spent a great deal of time teaching his disciples personally, to prepare them for the task of carrying on His ministry.
The promise of the Holy Spirit was an essential piece in their preparation, as Jesus encouraged his followers to look ahead, look to the benefit of others, and trust that God would always be there for them and assist in their efforts.
What you may not know
The Holy Spirit had always been involved throughout history. Long before synagogues and churches, long before the written word, long before any formalized practice of faith was established, people had an innate sense that God was there we them and in control.
What prompted and guided Noah when he built the ark? What was it that guided Abram out of his home to a land that God had chosen for him?
Who informed the prophets to make prediction of events that would not happen until centuries after their deaths?
The Holy Spirit was at work from the beginning and in all things of God.