Lesson 91

The Gospel of John

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

15:26 When the Counselor has come, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will testify about me. 15:27 You will also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.

16:1 "These things have I spoken to you, so that you wouldn't be caused to stumble. 16:2 They will put you out of the synagogues. Yes, the time comes that whoever kills you will think that he offers service to God. 16:3 They will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. 16:4 But I have told you these things, so that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you about them. I didn't tell you these things from the beginning, because I was with you.

 Today's Lesson 

Jesus was preparing His disciples for His imminent death, but He was also preparing them for something else as well. He was trying to tell them that His death would not be the end of things. He was trying to tell them that His relationship with them would extend beyond death. He continues to do so by reminding them of what He has told them about the Spirit that will come to live with them.


Jesus says the "other Counselor" will come to them and testify to them about Him. This is one of the primary duties of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit testifies to man about Jesus Christ. To these disciples, He reminded them about all the things that Jesus had told them and taught them so that they could, in turn, tell and teach others that would follow Christ through them. The Holy Spirit helped to create the explosive growth in the early church through these men.


In the same way, the Spirit now testifies to men today. He works in men's lives to draw them closer to God. And, in all things, He seeks to glorify the Son. It is the role of the Spirit to bring to us all the things of Christ. When we see Jesus being worshipped and glorified, we can be certain of the presence and work of the Holy Spirit.


In one earlier place, Jesus had said that He would pray to the Father and the Father would send the Spirit. But here, Jesus says, "When the Counselor has come, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father..." One might legitimately ask, who actually sends the Spirit, Jesus or the Father? But, as we study the New Testament, we come to understand that God does not have clear lines of delegation between persons in the same sense that we understand. The Spirit is alternately called the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ. Whose Spirit is He? The answer of course is that He is the Spirit of God and God consists of Father, Son and Spirit. He proceeds from both the Father and the Son and is sent by both. And, at the same time, He is equal to both the Father and the Son. He is fully God, just as the Son is fully God.


Then Jesus tells His disciples that He has told them these things so that when they occur, it may build their faith to see that He knew that these things would occur. They will need faith to endure what will come. They will be condemned and harassed. They will be put out of the synagogues and slain.


But, from these few men will grow a movement that will stretch throughout the centuries to tell men about the ways of God. Nowhere else does God reveal the full extent of His grace and love except through His church. The message of the sacrificial nature of God comes to us primarily through the cross of Christ. And God uses these few souls, timid as they are and knowing as little as they did, to pass His message on to the rest of us.


We think that God would rather use big churches and powerful speakers. But, God more often uses small things and small people. God is glorified when the impossible occurs through unlikely people. Throughout religious history, God has used unlikely people. Is God trying to use you today? What impossible things could God be preparing in your life right now?


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