A Keen Advantage. John, 81 in the series.
John 15.26-John 16.15
Jesus told the disciples, “It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.”1 What could he mean…advantage?
Surely, Jesus’ words were confusing to the disciples and disturbing too. He was telling them he was going to leave them, that they would be hated, possibly even killed, but it was better for them if he went away. Makes no sense at all, humanly speaking. What was Jesus telling these men he loved so much, and why? He was preparing them with the truth of what was coming—“I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away,”2 Jesus said. Jesus’ followers would indeed feel alone in the world, but he would not leave them that way—he was sending the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.3 The Holy Spirit brings peace to our hearts.
A newsflash across my screen:
SAN CLEMENTE (GP) – A group of [Christian] teen-aged students were talking openly about the previous nights’ activities. One was heard to say, “I knew it was wrong even while I was doing it. I was getting drunk because I wanted to fit in … just for once, I wanted to see what it felt like. But the feeling I had inside wasn’t worth it. I felt guilty and gross afterward. I wish I would have listened to my conscience and just gotten out of there.” “And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness…”4 Besides peace, the Holy Spirit also brings conviction.
Dateline: LOS ANGELES (GP) – “Once you know Jesus, no one can take him from you. Knowing him personally has made all the difference in my life; when I think back to what my life was like before him, I just remember loneliness and a constant wondering within myself,” a bystander at the meeting heard a middle-aged woman say. Those nearby listened intently because everything about her was so genuine—you could see it in her eyes, her countenance and even her collectedness as she spoke. “I wish I had that,” an onlooker was heard to say. “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.”5
The Holy Spirit is a presence in our lives no one can take from us
and he enables us to understand Jesus.
Indeed, Jesus would soon depart their physical world, but he would not break his promise: I am with you always, even to the end of the world.6 The Father would send the Holy Spirit. Where Jesus had been with them, the Holy Spirit would be in them. The Holy Spirit abides in you and me too, if we are followers of Jesus. Simply beautiful.
We all need the advantage, the power, comfort, peace, conviction and presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives -- daily. We simply cannot be all we are meant to be . . .
nor can we truly thrive in these trying days
without the sweet Holy Spirit.
5 min/worship: Holy Spirit, Francesca Battistelli,
1) John 16.7
2) John 16.1
3) John 14.27
4) John 16.8
5) John 15.26;
6) Matthew 28.20