John 14:15-31 (NRSV)
The Promise of the Holy Spirit
15”If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever.
John 14:16 is one of the verses in the Bible that shows the underlying theme of the Trinity. God the Son prays to God the Father that He might send God the Holy Spirit to us.
17This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
18“I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you.
Spurgeon considered several ways that the followers of Jesus are not like orphans.
- · An orphan has parents who are dead; the Spirit shows us Jesus is alive
- · An orphan left alone; the Spirit draws us close to God’s presence
- · An orphan has lost their provider; the Spirit provides all things
- · An orphan is left without instruction; the Spirit teaches us all things
- · An orphan has no defender; the Spirit is protector
from This Day with the Master,
by Dennis F. Kinlaw
THE SAME SPIRIT
It took me some time to realize that the Spirit whom Jesus gave to his disciples was not just the third person of the Trinity; it was the Spirit who had empowered Jesus’ own life and ministry. The secret to Jesus’ life was the Spirit, and the Spirit is anxious to be the secret of your life and mine.
The Spirit was the one who initiated Christ’s conception. It was he who anointed Jesus at his baptism. The word Christ means “anointed,” so it was the Spirit who made Jesus the Christ. It was the Spirit who led Jesus and sustained him through his temptation in the wilderness. The Spirit was the source of Jesus’ power over the demonic, and the Spirit enabled him to endure the Cross. The writer of Hebrews speaks of Christ as the one “who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God” (Hebrews 9:14). It was the Spirit who, with the Father, raised Jesus from the dead. The Spirit was the key to the earthly life of Jesus.
Now on Jesus’ last night before the Cross, he told his disciples that he wanted them to have the same one in their lives who had been in his own. He promised them the Holy Spirit. And that promise is to you and me as well. Have you received him? Do you let him gently lead you? This is your privilege as a believer in Jesus. Read the promise in Luke 11:13: “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
19In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. 20On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me;
“John never allowed love to devolve into a sentiment or an emotion. Its expression is always moral and is revealed in obedience.”
–C. K. Barrett
and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”
22Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?”
23Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.
25“I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)
And he will be called . . . Prince of Peace.
“In the Bible the word for peace, shalom, never means simply the absence of trouble. It means everything which makes for our highest good. The peace which the world offers us is the peace of escape, the peace which comes from the avoidance of trouble and from refusing to face things.”
28“You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. 29And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe. 30I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me; 31but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.
So Jesus tells the disciples that the Holy Spirit will teach them what what they need to know and will remind them of what they had already learned from Christ. Jesus says the Holy Spirit will bring them peace, which will continue through Christ’s struggle on the cross to his final destination in heaven, and for us, through our struggles on earth until we are in heaven with Jesus.
“Rise, let us be on our way.”
HERE is “Perfect Peace” by Laura Story. The song begins with a clap of thunder.
1) The Trinity is a mystery. As a child, I was taught that it resembles an apple: God is like the peel, for protection; Jesus is like the fruit, what we eat in Holy Communion; and the Holy Spirit is like the seeds, bringing new life. Yes, I get it — but who wants a relationship with an apple peel? On the other hand, what I remember most from reading the book The Shack is the wonderful portrayal of the 3 persons of the Trinity! Particularly when they sat at the table and ate and visited together — oh, I wanted to stay with them! What pictures of the Trinity have you found helpful?
2) What do you find is the best thing to do when you feel un-peaceful? Might reading and believing this chapter help you claim the fact of the peace of God, even in those times when you may not feel it?
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.