[Jesus said,] Have faith in me when I say that the Father is one with me and that I am one with the Father. Or else have faith in me simply because of the things I do. 12 I tell you for certain that if you have faith in me, you will do the same things that I am doing. You will do even greater things, now that I am going back to the Father. 13 Ask me, and I will do whatever you ask. This way the Son will bring honor to the Father. 14 I will do whatever you ask me to do.
15 Jesus said to his disciples:
If you love me, you will do as I command.16 Then I will ask the Father to send you the Holy Spirit who will help you and always be with you. 17 The Spirit will show you what is true. The people of this world cannot accept the Spirit, because they donâ€™t see or know him. But you know the Spirit, who is with you and will keep on living in you.â€ Â Â John 14:11-17 (CEV)
Lectionary texts: Acts 2:1-21, Psalm 104:24-35, Roman 8:14-17, John 14:8-17, 25-27
Next Sunday is Pentecost Sunday and so the Lectionary texts this week are focused on the Holy Spirit. In my study experience, spending time reading and learning about the Holy Spirit will be uplifting and yet leave me with more questions than I had before I started.
John 14 has represented to me the beginning of Jesus’ intensive teachings as He knows His time here on earth is short. He is trying to get the principles across to His disciples who will carry the Good News on. He knows that in the days following His death that the disciples will be frightened and feel alone. He keeps the delivery of His words like â€œcliff notes.â€
Have faith in Me. Jesus knows that when the events of the coming week occurs: the trial and crucifixion, that doubt and fear are going to grip the disciples. They were God’s Chosen People, weren’t they? This is not how they had envisioned God’s Kingdom ruling. How can the Kingdom come without the King overthrowing Rome and taking His place on a throne in Jerusalem?
Jesus tells them that believing in Him is believing in the Father. That believing through the miracles that He and the Father were one in power was accepting their relationship to the Him and the Father which comes with power. They would have a relationship with the Father like Moses did and the Father would work even greater miracles through them. Jesus was going to the Father and His ears would be turned to hear their prayers, their requests. Just ask Him and He would answer so that the Father would receive all glory.
If you want to show your love for Me, obey Me. Here is a warning to the disciples to not just proclaim their love for Jesus with their mouths and then do whatever they wanted to do. That is how the Pharisees said they loved God and then used their rules and rituals for their own gain and glory. When Jesus said that to be great in His Kingdom we must be servants, then obey Him by serving others.
And here is where the Holy Spirit will be key as He reminds me of Jesus’ principles and convicts me when I go off the path. If I want to know what is truly Jesus’ way, listen to His Spirit speak to my spirit.
God is with you always. And no matter what others may say or what I see with my human eyes, the Spirit is always with me and will never leave me. In the darkness of despair and grief, in the gray fog of confusion, the Holy Spirit will be the Light of Truth that will lead me out. The spirit in the world and the people who reject anything they cannot empirically prove may say I am weak or crazy, but it is by the Holy Spirit’s wisdom and love that I will live.
And so I am uplifted once again today. And, yes, I still have questions. But the Holy Spirit is with me and so we will continue to talk and I will continue to learn because God always keeps His promises.
Holy Spirit Rain Down written by Alvin Slaughter and sung by Hillsong Worship Team