The Lord Jesus wants to assure the apostles on this special night that the Holy Spirit will have a particular ministry with them. The time will come when Peter, John, and Matthew will record their memories of Jesus’ earthly ministry in either letters or gospels. Jesus wants them to know that they will have the special assistance of the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, in this task. He will teach them and remind them of what Jesus has said.
But there are also things they will write about which they have yet to hear or experience, ″more than [they] can now bear″ (see John 16:12). The Holy Spirit will reveal to them things of the future and guide them into all truth (John 16:13).
In his letter, John talks about the illuminating ministry of the Spirit, whom each believer receives as an ″anointing″ from Jesus (1 John 2:27). The Holy Spirit opens our minds to understand God’s truth. In today’s reading, Jesus refers to both the personal teaching (illumination) and reminding (recalling) ministry of the Holy Spirit (v. 26), which will enable the apostles to pass on the gospel correctly, guiding them to understand and then record accurately what Jesus has done and taught.
Hence, we can be confident that the Bible is God’s authoritative Word, not just the words of Jesus, but also the words of His Spirit-anointed apostles and messengers (men like Luke, Jude, and James).
Indeed, the Bible is the Word God’s Spirit has breathed out through the apostolic messengers. Other references to the New Testament’s divine source are found in
1 Timothy 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21; and Revelation 1:10-11. We need to depend on the Holy Spirit to make His Word clear to us; we need His illuminating ministry.
How important are these promises of Jesus to the apostles?
How would remembering that the Bible is ″God’s authoritative Word″ influence the way you read, listen, and respond to Scripture?