“But I tell you that I am going to do what is best for you. That is why I am going away. The Holy Spirit cannot come to help you until I leave. But after I am gone, I will send the Spirit to you.” John 16:7, CEV
The disciples are becoming frantic and a bit distressed. They are now starting to realize the Jesus is leaving them. In the recesses of their minds they can’t absorb this. It makes no sense at all. (After all, we just got started.) They have been with Jesus almost three years. They can’t imagine life without Him present and available.
Jesus starts saying things to help His friends. I am going “to do what is best for you.” With this concise idea Jesus wants His dear ones–His disciples to understand and accept Him. We must hear Him–”this is why I am going away.” He starts to link His absence with the rich goodness of the Holy Spirit. On strictly basic level, the disciples have a reason for anxiety. He will not be here when I wake up. Jesus has left! I am alone, what will I do?
We have a tendency to think of the Holy Spirit like a telephone. The dynamic is this–someone calls me from a great distance. When I pick up the ringing phone, that person is still a long way away– but the voice is close. To think this way is to mislabel, and to think wrongly. We mistakenly think of Him in distinctly utilitarian terms. Jesus is insisting it is a whole lot better than this. He isn’t on the phone– The Spirit is at the door, and He is ringing your doorbell.
The doctrine of the Holy Spirit is meant to “upset apple-carts” and change the flow of rivers. The Holy Spirit is first and foremost personal. He comes and draws in closer than a person could. He fills us, and our spirits and His are mixed in a new way. Was it nice to have Jesus bodily present? Yes. Of course. But it is also awesome to have the Spirit connecting with us in a most spiritually wonderful way.
When Jesus ascends, the Holy Spirit is given the “green light” to come, and deepen the special relationship that the Father now has for us. However, we can be a bit mistaken. We think that the physical presence of Jesus is “far and away,” and somewhat superior to having the Spirit in our hearts. And it is easy to think that way. But, it’s not true, not even slightly true.
As we examine Acts 1-2 we are escorted the the real and very active world of the Holy Spirit. His ready presence turns these disciples into a “tossed salad” of the Spirit and humanity. What happens can never be undone or reversed. The Holy Spirit has followed Jesus and is now transforming everything. Essentially we must trust in what God has done, and we should bow our hearts and knees to all the Father has done for us. Please, Spirit, come and help us.
Bryan Lowe. Christian believer, avid reader. Writer. Husband and father. Pastor and Bible teacher. Bipolar Depression and disabled. Enjoys life in Alaska. Wants Jesus to use him. Is definitely in a deep trust of His Savior's love. Wants to assist the strugglers and rascals that belong to Him. http://brokenbelievers.com/