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Read John 14:18-21 (ESV)
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
One of the ministries of the Holy Spirit is that of a Comforter. How did the Holy Spirit comfort the disciples?
For three years, the disciples had walked and talked with Jesus. He was always with them. When they had a question, they could simply ask Him. They saw His power up close and personal. They knew He could heal. They knew He could provide. They knew He could save. They even knew that He could raise the dead!
But now, Jesus is preparing them for His departure. He is leaving them. And where He’s going, they can’t follow. At least, not right away. Put yourself in the disciples’ shoes and imagine how they must have felt. They knew He was the Messiah. But now, He was leaving them? They had to have felt anxious and afraid. They were going to be like sheep without their Good Shepherd or children without their parents.
In today’s passage, Jesus reassured them that even though He was leaving them, He wasn’t going to leave them as orphans. He was going to die but they wouldn’t be left alone. God’s presence would still be with them even though God the Son would be gone from the earth. As we discussed yesterday, Jesus was going to ask the Father to send them another Helper, the Spirit of truth, who would be with them always. In fact, this Helper, the Holy Spirit, was going to live inside of them!
The unbelieving world wasn’t going to be able to see God anymore because Jesus, God in the flesh, was going back to the Father. The physical, tangible, and visible presence of God would be taken away. But God is not dead. Jesus referenced both His coming resurrection and the believers’ future resurrection when He said “because I live, you also will live.” In Galatians 2:20, Paul explained the believers’ union with Christ: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is longer I who live, but Christ lives in in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
Jesus also explained the Trinity, even though He didn’t use that term. He explained the union of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit when He said, “I am in the Father” and when He said that He is in the disciples. Because God’s Spirit would indwell believers, Jesus would be “in” His disciples. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are One God. Even more incredible, One God that lives inside of us.
What a comfort to know that even though Jesus was physically leaving them, they would never be apart from Him. “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39) We can be comforted just as the disciples were comforted with knowing that we’ll never be apart from Christ. He’s in us and we are in Him. And we are loved by God. Forever. Amen.
Lord, thank You for promising that in You, I’ll never be alone. Your presence is always with me. There’s no where I can go where You are not (Psalm 139:7-12). What a comfort to know that You live in me and love me. Amen.
Reveal: Do you know someone who could use the comforting reassurance that they aren’t alone? Share the truth of God’s enduring presence with someone who needs to hear it today.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford