May 4, 2018
READ: John 16:5-16
But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come (v.7).
I hate goodbyes. Especially if I’m close to the one with whom I’m parting ways. I can only imagine the disciples’ pain when Jesus said goodbye, although He assured them He’d see them again soon (John 16:16).
It’s been two thousand years, and we still haven’t seen Jesus return. Yet He told the disciples it was best for them that He ascend to the Father, so they’d receive His Spirit (v.7).
But why was this best?
The Spirit indwells and empowers believers. Ten days after Jesus’ ascension, the disciples heard “a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm” (Acts 2:2). The disciples “began speaking in other languages”, and Peter told the amazed crowd they were witnessing the promised arrival of the Spirit (2:4,33).
The Spirit’s coming detonated an explosion of world evangelism. Empowered by the Spirit, believers would bear witness to Jesus “in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Because of the Spirit, we are never alone as we witness to Christ.
The Spirit persuades. Jesus said the Spirit would “convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgement” (John 16:8). Believers don’t need to win arguments or outtalk others to be effective witnesses. We need only testify to what Jesus has done and allow the Spirit to work in others’ hearts.
The Spirit guides. Jesus said the Spirit would “guide [the disciples] into all truth”, explaining what they could not yet bear (vv.12-13). The disciples wrote down these truths, which were collected into our New Testament. We now can open our Bibles and through the Spirit’s leading hear from Jesus Himself. The disciples’ goodbye was necessary for our hello.
365-day plan: Esther 3:1-15
Read Joel 2:28-32. Which aspects of the Spirit’s coming have already been fulfilled? Which ones may be coming soon?
Which of the ways the Spirit works is most precious to you? Which should you value more? Begin by thanking Him for this blessing.