I remember driving in the car with one of my kids. It was late in her senior year of high school and we were coming back from a trip together. It was a rather contemplative moment for me as a dad, reminiscing on her life and how little time I had left with her. I told her—half joking—that I had so many things that I still wanted to talk to her about before she left home. We were driving back from Houston, so she said, “Well, we have three hours… go ahead!” It was a great conversation; one that was especially poignant during that transitional time in her adolescent life as she was moving into adulthood.
- As you read today’s passage, read it in terms of a father speaking to a spiritually adolescent group of men, preparing them for the next chapter in life.
READ THE WORD: JOHN 16:4-15 (ESV)
4 “But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you. “I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.5 But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 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. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 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. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Why was it good for Jesus to “go away” (vs.7)? How would his leaving be helpful for the disciples?
- What are the two primary names used for the one who would come to the disciples after Jesus left? What significance did each of these names bring to the next chapter of the disciples’ lives?
- Verses 14-15 give us great insight into the relationship of the Father, Son, and Spirit. What do you see in these verses? What encouragement would this have given to the disciples? What encouragement does it bring us?
- What words of truth do you need in your life today? Seek wisdom from above and ask the Spirit to lead and guide you.
RESPOND TO GOD
Maturity rarely happens until our faith is tested and we stand firm on our own in the midst of difficulty. The disciples made a significant choice to follow Jesus; they gave up their jobs, their reputations, and their personal comforts to follow him. But until now, Jesus had taken the majority of the criticism and opposition upon himself. Jesus was preparing—and arming—them to move out of adolescence and take on the opposition themselves, giving them the reminder and Resource to carry on and stand firm. It’s hard to believe that it was “to their advantage” that Jesus would go away. But the personal and intimate nature of the Holy Spirit was a gift that keeps on giving, even today!
- Take some time to specifically ask the Holy Spirit to grant you the things Jesus said he would give the disciples in this passage.
- Take a brief moment to thank the Lord for his gift and provision of the Helper.