Sunday, March 22, 2020
Jesus and His disciples came together for the Passover Meal on Thursday night. The predictions of His death, burial and resurrection plus His comments about going away were taking their toll on the disciples. He is aware that they are worried, afraid, and confused. In John’s gospel account we have some wonderful, comforting and intimate reflections of Jesus as He contemplated the unfolding events that had already begun.
John 13 sets the stage for this intimate time of teaching by Jesus to His disciples. It begins with Jesus, realizing that the time He has anticipated has finally arrived and that He had received full authority from His Father (vss. 1, 3). So, of course, it is time for Him to wash the disciple’s feet! This included the feet of Judas. It includes the intense conversation with Peter (John 13:1-17) concluding with Jesus’ encouragement for the disciples to ‘wash each other’s feet’ (vss. 14-15).
Immediately afterwards, Judas leaves the room into the night (John 13:18-30) and Jesus predicts Peter’s denial later Thursday evening (John 13:31-38).
JESUS IS THE WAY
In several places Jesus refers to His departure which leaves the disciples disheartened. Yet, at the same time, He talks about how He will be with them which adds confusion to their discomfort. In John 14-16 Jesus points out that Jesus…
- is the Way to His Father (14:1-14)
- will feed and sustain them (15:1-17)
- will show them how to suffer (15:18-25)
- will be the source of their peace (16:16-33)
Sandwiched between these clear assertions of Jesus’ dynamic activity in the lives of his followers, Jesus inserts teachings about “The Paraclete” in Greek (John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7), which, literally translated into English means “The One Who is Called to Their Side.” This Being is identified by different translations as “The Comforter” (KJV), “The Advocate” (NIV, NLT), “The Helper” (NASB), “The Friend” (MSG) and “The Counselor” (WEB), among others. In all of the translations, however, Jesus tells us that His name is “The Holy Spirit” (John 14:26).
HE WILL BE IN YOU
In John 14:15-21 Jesus comforts His disciples by assuring them that the Holy Spirit will not only continue to be with them but that He will take up residence within them (vs. 17).
“All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.”John 14:23 (NLT)
This is truly a remarkable statement. Jesus assures them–and us!– of not only His continuing presence in their lives through the Holy Spirit, but also, that of His Father’s! So long as Jesus remains in the flesh, walking the streets of Palestine, He is choosing to be limited by time and space. Once the Holy Spirit comes, however, He will dwell in all who believe
HE WILL TEACH YOU
In John 14:22-26 Jesus further assures them that He will not only teach them what they need to know but that He will remind them of what Jesus said (vss. 26). Through them, the power of Jesus’ words have been given to us in the Scriptures and they resonate deep within our hearts as the Holy Spirit joins with our spirit to confirm the truth of God’s word (1 John 5:5-10).
Jesus is the only way to His Father. Through the Holy Spirit Jesus dwells in us and teaches us. It is Jesus who feeds and sustains us. Jesus shows us how to suffer. Jesus is the source of our peace.
Next week we will take on the other references Jesus makes to The Comforter (Part 2) in John 15:26-16:15.
For further reading: Tim Woodroof, A Spirit for the Rest of Us (Leafwood Publishers: Abilene, TX), 2009.