Our Gospel this week is John 16:7-15, taken today from the English Standard Version (ESV).
Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: 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. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
Jesus has told His disciples several times how He will be crucified, raised and return to heaven according to God’s plan. They don’t understand, and in Matthew 16:22 Peter declares “This shall never happen to You!” Jesus replies quickly but firmly “Get behind me Satan!”
Jesus knows that God’s plan for salvation is the only way we can be saved from our sin, and He is steadfast in His obedience to the Father. He tells them here that it is necessary for Him to go away so they can receive the Holy Spirit. This doesn’t replace Jesus but provides the constant connection to God we need for strength in this world.
How do you know God’s spirit in your life? We are all made differently and each of our experiences are unique. However, we are all connected by the Holy Spirit and led to the work God has for each of us.
Heavenly Father, we are weak in the flesh, but the presence of the Holy Spirit keeps us in Your love and care. Help us to hear the call You place on our lives and go confidently to do Your will. Amen.