Day 28 (Saturday, April 6, 2019)
25 “I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26 But 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. 27 Peace 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. 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. 29 And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe. 30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me; 31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us be on our way.”
We said earlier that there was a dark sense of foreboding hanging over Jesus’ first followers. He had told them he was going away – and they understood he was going to die. He spoke of them as orphaned children, bereft and destitute. He did not offer glib platitudes about death but promised a Counselor (literally, Comforter). Jesus’ teaching on the Spirit of God here is not about individual gifts, but about the personal presence of the Spirit of God in the life of each person who belongs to him.
The disciples would have understood the Spirit’s presence in Jesus’ birth (his conception) and in his work (his teaching and miracles) in Old Testament categories (And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, Isaiah 11:2). Now Jesus spoke of the Spirit as a Person who would come into the life of everyone who followed him. The Spirit would be the counselor, comforter, helper of God’s people individually and personally.
He is not Someone at our beck and call, but rather the powerful person who comes to us from God himself to help us by reminding us of the truth of God’s Word – in times of grief, when life is difficult, when others are mocking or persecuting us, or simply in our day-to-day walk with God.
No wonder Jesus could say, “My peace I leave with you.” Even though we cannot see him, Jesus is present with us through his Spirit. We are never alone.
Lord God, without you we are not able to please you; mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP, Trinity 19)
Daily Reading Plan
Read John 14:15-31