The Promise of the Spirit

KEY VERSE: “The Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” —John 14:26


JESUS’ MINISTRY WAS drawing to a close. He had told his disciples on a number of occasions that he was going to Jerusalem and there would be put to death.

At times it appeared that they understood. For example, there was the time when his disciples were traveling with Jesus and word was sent to him that Lazarus was ill. Lazarus’ sisters wanted Jesus to come to Bethany to see his friend. Jesus purposely delayed his coming, until finally, after Lazarus died, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” But Rabbi, they said, “A short while ago the Jews tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?” Then Thomas said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” (John 11:7,8,16, New International Version) On other occasions, the thought of Jesus’ death was incomprehensible to his disciples. For example, Peter told Jesus, “Be it far from thee Lord: this shall not be unto thee.”—Matt. 16:22

The time had come for Jesus to observe the Passover with the twelve: “It was just before the Passover Feast, Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father.” (John 13:1, NIV) This chapter of John tells how Jesus washed their feet as they prepared to keep the Passover. After that Jesus said: “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going„you cannot come.”—John 13:33, NIV

Little wonder that the disciples were troubled at these words. Jesus tried to comfort them, saying, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.” (John 14:1) Jesus continued speaking words of comfort to the eleven—Judas Iscariot had left—to give them instruction, encouragement, and consolation. Questions were asked. Thomas wanted to know the way to the Father, and Phillip wanted Jesus to show them the Father. He answered Thomas saying, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” And to Philip he said, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?”—vss. 6,9

The disciples did not understand his words, and Jesus was aware of their difficulty. He had received the Holy Spirit without measure (John 3:34), therefore, God’s thinking was his thinking. But soon the Father would send the Comforter, advocate, or counselor, which would be with them always. Then his disciples’ thinking would be like God’s thinking, also. They would be able to fully understand Jesus’ answers; they would understand the position Jesus had in his pre-human existence, and why he had been made flesh; they would understand why he had to suffer and die as man’s redeemer; then their love for him would become even greater.

This promise of the Holy Spirit is not meant for the world. Only the faithful footstep followers of Christ are promised to live and reign with him. Jesus said to them, “Because I live, ye shall live also.” (John 14:19) This promise of the Holy Spirit, even the Spirit of Truth, is something that “the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him.” At the present time, only the footstep followers of Christ receive the blessing of the Holy Spirit. (vs. 17) But when the church is complete, the due time will come for God to “pour out his Spirit upon all flesh” (Joel 2:28), in his blessed kingdom.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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