27th May 2011

Another Counsellor

…the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.”
John 16:15 (NIV UK)

How were the followers of Christ to cope after his death?

This was a major concern for the disciples. How could they benefit from his advice and thoughts if he were no longer around? Would Jesus fade from memory? Would he be just a passing footnote in the long history of failed Messiahs? They were uneasy with Christ’s prediction that he would be killed and they were “filled with grief” at the thought (16:6).

Jesus reassured them by getting together with them and expounding the activity of the Godhead. He said that the presence of God would not leave them despite his death. “And I will ask the Father”, he explained, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you for ever – the Spirit of truth”. “You know him”, he continued, “for he lives with you and will be in you” (14:18). Jesus had been living physically with them and would be in them spiritually because “the Lord is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:17).

Jesus was sent to reveal who God the Father is, and the Spirit was sent to make the Son known in us. “When the Counsellor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me” (John 15:26).

The disciples did not need to worry about forgetting what Christ had taught them. Listen to what Jesus said, “But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said” (14:26).

“I have told you all these things, so that in me you may have peace” Jesus concluded in this intimate talk to his disciples (16:33). They need not be troubled because the Holy Spirit would be in them.

Also, we, who follow Christ today, need not be troubled. Don’t you know that “God’s Spirit lives in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16).

Loving Father, thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to us, through whom Jesus lives in us and never leaves us or forsakes us.

Study by james.henderson@gracecom.org.uk

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