BY THE PRESENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, JESUS IS TRULY WITH US [JOHN 16:5-11]
What a whirlwind three years the disciples spent with Jesus! At first they faced the challenge of grasping who He was and giving up everything to follow Him. Then came the struggle to implement His teachings in their daily lives. Now, they were confronting the greatest challenge of all: Jesus’ departure. Uncertain about the road ahead, they were filled with sorrow (John 16:6). We can imagine that, as they sat listening to Jesus at the Last Supper, the years they had spent with Him looked like a short time indeed. If only they have known earlier, they would have paid more attention, asked Him more questions, and spent more time praying with Him. But now it was all to be taken away.
Yet, Jesus told them, it was only by His going away that God’s plan for them would be fulfilled. Only after Jesus’ departure would the Holy Spirit would carry on the work that Jesus began in them (John 16:7-8). Through the Holy Spirit, they would continue to learn the difference between sin and righteousness; they would go on growing in knowledge of the Father’s love; they would become more like Jesus in everything – all of which, we know from the rest of the New Testament, really happened.
Hard as it may be to understand, we have lost nothing by the fact that we did not know Jesus in the flesh (John 16:7). By the presence of the Holy Spirit, Jesus is truly with us (John 14:16-20). Through the Holy Spirit, we can have as intimate a relationship with Jesus as the disciples had with Him during His earthly life.
Is the Holy Spirit at work in your life today? Have you allowed Him to bring you into the fellowship with Jesus, or are you saddened, as the disciples were, at the prospect of a distant God? Let us believe Jesus’ words about His gift of the Spirit to us! Let us trust in Jesus’ presence this day, and allow His Holy Spirit to envelop us completely.
Jakarta, 27 May 2014
A Christian Pilgrim