As we venture closer to the Cross for Jesus, we approach the end of what is arguably the most intimate of interactions recorded between Jesus and His disciples. In what many refer to as the “Farewell Discourse,” we see one of the clearest views of the Holy Spirit, and the role He plays in the life of those who are followers of Jesus Christ along with the world at large.
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. And when He comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see Me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. (Jn. 16:7-11, ESV)
As Jesus makes very clear, the Helper, who we often refer to as the Holy Spirit, is always on the move—always up to something. Had Jesus never come to the earth, we would never have been able to have with us His Spirit to share our every moment of life. For after Jesus died for our sins and returned to the Father, it is now the Spirit that actively guides us in our everyday lives to do what we were always meant to: glorify God.
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. He will glorify Me, for He will take what is mine and declare it to you. (Jn. 16:13-14, ESV)
But it does not stop there. The Holy Spirit does even more for us thanks to the work Jesus did on the Cross. And as a result, Jesus gives all who believe in Him a promise.
I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. (Jn. 16:33, ESV)
This is the Gospel … and this is exactly what we have been building up to in our journey through the Gospel of John. Based on where we find ourselves in John 16-17, it is just a matter of a day or so when we reach the pinnacle moment in the life of Jesus: His crucifixion. Jesus is about to meet His fate head-on – for which He had been preparing His entire existence.
And this is eternal life, that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that You gave Me to do. And now, Father, glorify Me in your own presence with the glory that I had with You before the world existed. (Jn. 17:3-5, ESV)
And thus, as we will see shortly in the coming chapters in John, God does exactly what Jesus is requesting: He glorifies Himself through His Son and solidifies Jesus as the very Messiah He will forever remain. We only have to respond in kind by sharing this Gospel with anyone who will listen.
Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. (Jn. 17:7-9, ESV)
QUESTION TO PONDER AS YOU STUDY:
- What are some of the features of the Holy Spirit, or “Helper,” at work in your life? Which one do you find the hardest to wrap your brain around?
- What do you make of what Jesus says when He mentions this in John 16:16: “A little while, and you will see Me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see Me”?
- How does Jesus connect Himself with God the Father and the Holy Spirit in John 16-17? How are they one and the same?
- Why can we “take heart” about all the troubles and struggles in the world we experience because of what Jesus has done for us?
- What does Jesus say about us, and His desire for unity in His Church and togetherness with each other, as we go about our daily lives?
Our study of the GOSPEL OF JOHN in review: