“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” ~John 16:13-14 (NRSV).
As Jesus waited upon and glorified the Father in his corporeal life, the Spirit will wait on and glorify Jesus. This is what Jesus is saying here; that the Holy Spirit will not act independently. The Advocate or Counsellor, as he is known, is hence worthy of our utmost trust.
But there is a limitation, which is dependent on us as persons; as disciples of the Lord. We must be able to discern the Spirit of truth and revelation. Discernment will always be the key challenge. Such is the importance of godly discipleship, humility, a truthful sense of the Spirit, and the ability to act despite oneself, and our flesh-led motives.
The Context of the Message
Verse 12 in this passage offers a vital clue to Jesus’ angle of approach.
He foresees that if he tells his disciples literally everything of what will occur it will be too much for them to bear. He, therefore, reassures them in verses 13-14 that they needn’t worry about having all the answers, for the Spirit coming after Jesus will guide the disciples—and all believers—in the self-same truth of Jesus; the revelation of the truth, all of it, that is to come.
It’s very important and inherently part of God, further still, that there is unification within the Godhead to endorse such truth; that is, the Son abiding in the Father, and the Holy Spirit abiding in the Son.
God acts as one.
The very purpose of the Holy Spirit is to reveal God’s truth; to act as Jesus would have acted were he to be in the flesh with us now. If Jesus were to intercede directly for us, he would, with no doubt, confer with the Father. Likewise, the Holy Spirit is in constant conference with the Lord Jesus.
Perhaps the disciples hadn’t caught on. What Jesus was trying to do, given that he had full access to everything of the Father’s (verse 15), was to vouchsafe the disciples’ belief—that, as the Lord’s earthly life was ending, the idea of salvation living was only, now, just beginning.
Trusting In What We’ve Been Left
We can know from the passages in latter John that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus—God’s truth and revelation. Not that the Holy Spirit is Jesus, but that God is Spirit and, therefore, the Father also is Spirit (John 4:23-24).
As believers, we have been left this Holy Spirit that now dwells within.
The Holy Spirit is God’s gift for living the salvation life; the truth will be made known to those who know God, this way, through the Holy Spirit because truth becomes revelation. Our task is to develop our sense of the Spirit, which only abides in truth. This requires intimacy with God.
How honestly intimate are you with the Lord, today?
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.