Earlier, we addressed the first portion of this text in which Jesus, knowing his time on earth was limited, wanted to prepare his disciples for his departure. They had a huge mission ahead of them and needed to understand what they would be up against. As his followers, they were no longer regular citizens of this world, and as such, they would no longer be loved by it. As these men encountered opposition, they would recall their master’s words: that just as the world had persecuted him, it would persecute them as well. Jesus knew how important it was for the disciples to not be surprised by the world’s reaction, and they also needed divine help.
- How does your help come from the Lord?
READ THE WORD: JOHN 15:18-16:4 (ESV)
15:18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. 25 But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’
26 “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. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.
16:1 “I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. 3 And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. 4 But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
(Today’s questions focus on verses 15:26-16:4. Verses 15:18-25 were covered previously.)
- Who is the Helper and what does he do?
- Why did Jesus send the Helper?
- What injustices would the disciples encounter?
- How do you think the Helper makes a real difference?
- How much do you rely on help from the Helper?
RESPOND TO GOD
Jesus knew that these disciples were mere men, and that in their own strength, the severity of the opposition would be more than enough to make them crumble. Although he was leaving, he wasn’t going to leave them helpless. He promised to send the Helper, God’s very power in spirit form to be with them constantly, just as Jesus had been with them from the beginning. This Holy Spirit would enable them to speak truth and testify to a lost world, as well as give them the strength they needed to endure the hate and hardships of doing God’s will on earth. We also have been given this same Spirit to reveal truth and enable us to boldly proclaim it.
- Thank God that he has given you his very Spirit to strengthen you to face opposition and enable you to speak truth to a desperately lost world.
- Ask for an outpouring of his Spirit into your life.