Lesson 85

The Gospel of John

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

Most assuredly I tell you, he who believes in me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these will he do; because I am going to my Father. 14:13 Whatever you will ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14:14 If you will ask anything in my name, that will I do. 14:15 If you love me, keep my commandments. 14:16 I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, that he may be with you forever, 14:17 -- the Spirit of truth, whom the world can't receive; for it doesn't see him, neither knows him. You know him, for he lives with you, and will be in you. 14:18 I will not leave you orphans. I will come to you.

 Today's Lesson 

When the disciples had been with Jesus, they had seen Him do many miraculous things. These miracles were signs and wonders that God granted to be done so that men might believe that the Father had sent Jesus. They were also accomplished simply because Jesus was the Son of God. Today's Scripture promises the disciples that those who continue to believe after Jesus had died would see even greater things. But, if the servants are not greater than their Master, how would even greater things be accomplished?


First, Jesus was returning to the Father. His period of earthly ministry was a time of testing and obedience. When He returned to the Father, it would be in a position of power and authority. God would be willing to grant the followers of Christ even greater works to do so that the Father would be glorified in them. "Whatever you will ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son." From a position of authority, Jesus will dispense gifts to His followers.


And second, after Jesus was resurrected and ascended into heaven, the Spirit of God would come to dwell in His people. "I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, that he may be with you forever." The Father would give them "another" Counselor, one of the same nature and origin as Jesus Christ. With Jesus interceding for them in heaven, and the Spirit of God living in them on earth, the resources that are available to each believer were multiplied. The other Counselor would be the Spirit of truth that would continue to teach them the things of God.


The teaching that Jesus offers about the Spirit of God that would come to live with His followers is easily misunderstood. It is difficult to sort through all the things that we hear about the role and the work of the Spirit. Sometimes when things are difficult to understand, it helps to go over the clear teachings that we can receive clearly.


The other Counselor, sometimes called the Paraclete after the Greek word that is used, is another divine person. "He" is referenced with personal masculine pronouns. (This is not to say that the Spirit of God is masculine in the sense that we see men as masculine and women as feminine.) His divinity can be confirmed in that He has all the attributes and power of God assigned to Him at one time or another. As opposed to The Father and the Son, the Spirit of God is less likely to be anthropomorphized. Which is to say He is not discussed in terms that make Him seem more like human beings, as in the Psalms when God is described as reaching down His hand and seeing with His eye). The Spirit of God is described in terms of "pure spirit".


And yet, the doctrine of the Spirit of God in the lives of believers is a most practical one as well. Christ would not leave us as orphans. So, He sent us a Caretaker. The Spirit of God is a comforter who lives within us and teaches us the things of God and the things of Jesus. His goal is to glorify the Father by magnifying the Son. The works that bring glory and honor to Jesus Christ occur through the energy and sponsorship of the Spirit.


What disturbs us and makes us uneasy is that we can never shake His hand or see Him face to face. The Spirit of God has no face to see or hand to shake. But, He is in us nonetheless. The love and knowledge of God that we experience come through Him. The leading toward holiness that we feel is from Him. The forgiveness that we experience is through Him


As Jesus continues with this discussion, we will hear more about the work of the Spirit. As we read on, ask yourself, "What more has Jesus to teach me about the Spirit of God in my life?" For, just as the role of the Spirit is to teach us the things of Christ, Jesus is the one who instructs us most about the Spirit of God.


Psalm / Next Lesson / Past Lesson / Lesson Archive / Home

© 1998 adailywalk.com - These materials may be reproduced as long as they are never sold in any form.