Jesus is continuing His goodbye to His disciples. They are really beginning to get that something is going to happen soon. They don’t understand it but something is up.
Jesus has spoken of His death to His disciples on three other occasions but He didn’t dwell on it for long. He presented the information and then moved on with another topic important to the work ahead. This night He doesn’t seem to be talking about anything else. But He is also being a little cryptic. He isn’t directly saying that He will be killed this night but that He is going away soon.
The disciples are used to Jesus speaking in parables. They are also used to having to ask Him to explain what He has shared. But tonight Jesus seems different. He almost has an urgency about Him. He is driving a point home for His disciples that they are going to need in the near future. They don’t know of their upcoming need but He does. He wants to make certain that His disciples are prepared for what lies ahead.
Jesus just got through telling His disciples that they were in for a lot of trouble for being one of His followers. Now He is telling them that He is leaving them. After three and a half years of following Jesus wherever He went, He is saying that He is going somewhere they cannot come and there is nothing they can do about it.
They are already missing Him. “Why can’t we come with You? Did we do something wrong? Don’t You love us anymore?” Their hearts are breaking at this perceived rejection. But Jesus didn’t leave them without a promise.
“I am going away and it is a good thing. There is Someone else who is going to take My place in your day to day lives. And His coming will be the beginning of amazing understanding. The understanding that you kept asking Me for in all those lessons. He will open your minds to my truths. He will also convict the world of their sin. This is Someone you don’t want to miss and He can’t come until I leave.”
He knew His disciples wouldn’t understand His statements tonight but He said them anyway. He needed to know that His closest friends would be able to look back and see the care He took in preparing their hearts. He loved these men dearly and cared for what they were about to endure.
Jesus also knew the benefits they were about to receive by His leaving. He knew the job the Holy Spirit was about to embark on. The Holy Spirit would give them understanding while working on the world to continue to draw people to Jesus. The Holy Spirit “will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgement” (verse 8).
The world needs the Holy Spirit to come as badly as Jesus’ disciples do. The Holy Spirit will be able to move on men’s conscious and unconscious minds. Not everyone will listen but the Spirit will reveal their sin to them; especially that of not believing in Jesus. The Spirit will also testify of Jesus’ rightful place in Heaven right beside the Father. And the Spirit will proclaim Satan’s defeat. Those who listen to the Spirit will learn of these first steps into God’s kingdom.
So as much as the thought of Jesus’ leaving hurts, it’s really a good thing. That’s what He said that night and we know that we can take everything Jesus says to the bank.
Lord Jesus, thank You for preparing Your disciples ahead of time even though they wouldn’t understand it. Thank You too for not sharing these truths earlier. They weren’t ready to receive them. Thank You for building Your relationship with them bit by bit. You do the same with me. You don’t take me to the great leap of faith places until we successfully walk through many smaller victories. Thank You for the Holy Spirit! His presence in my life is crucial. I would be lost without Him.
You know my difficulties tonight Lord. Continue holding my hand as we walk once again through another fire. Thank You Spirit for helping me pray when I had no idea how. Keep my husband safe and continue to lead us in this ever changing experience. Thank You that You calm my fears too. That alone is life changing!