Jesus continues His goodbyes to His disciples. They are still confused as to His meaning. But that doesn’t stop Him from giving them this enormous promise. The promise of a Comforter who will be with them always.
When I first started reading this the words, “I will not leave you as orphans” (verse 18a) jumped out at me. His disciples were about to feel the most alone they had felt, probably in their entire lives. We know that state won’t last and that they really weren’t alone because God the Father was protecting them during this time. But why did Jesus compare them to orphans? I will share with you what I got when I saw those words.
When we are born into this sinful world our “father” is the devil. Our spirit is dead and we “look” just like him. Jesus’ disciples were just like us but they had walked away from that “father’s” influence. They had sworn allegiance to Jesus. Not until Jesus completes His work does their spirit receive life, but once it does they are no longer children of Satan. They are children of life; of God. But Jesus was saying He was going away very soon. They would then be left alone, or at least they would think they were. But Jesus promises them that in His physical absence they would receive another part of the Godhead. They will receive the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit was not a stranger to them. They didn’t independently recognize His presence in their lives but we see His work, including the miracles happening at Jesus’ command. We also see Him in Peter’s revelation of who Jesus was. But Jesus promises a closer relationship with the Spirit than they ever had before. Now the Holy Spirit would be living within them instead of operating on the outside. He would be their link to their new Father. Adopted into God’s family and orphans no more.
As part of the Trinity, when the Holy Spirit resides in us the Godhead resides in us. We have His life and His love working in and through our lives. This wasn’t just Jesus’ promise to His disciples but the Father’s promise.
One of the most amazing things about the Holy Spirit is that He makes it possible for us to understand the word of God. He opens our minds and hearts to God’s truth. He would bring to remembrance everything God wanted recorded for His children. The Holy Spirit inspired and directed the accounts of the gospel writers as well as the letters to the churches. He still at work interpreting and enlightening our hearts today. I know I would be 100% lost without Him!
Father God, thank You for my “adoption papers”, Your word. Thank You for sending Your Holy Spirit to be my daily companion. To teach me of You. To draw me closer to You daily. Thank You that I am not alone and looking for somewhere to belong. Thank You Jesus for sharing this promise before it happened so we could have proof positive, again, of Your connection with the Father and the truth. Nothing You said was idol speech. Each word was packed with God’s truth and promises that all I have to do is reach out and take hold of. I’m still struggling with some of that reaching out but that doesn’t change Your promise one bit. I trust that when Your Holy Spirit peels away the scar tissue built up there that I will be able to hear even those promises with understanding. Please help me not place any more layers there that need pulled down. The process is NOT fun but I know You proceed with care in my scarred parts. I don’t know how else to say it except, have Your way in my life Holy Spirit. I trust You.