John 15:26–27 NRSV – “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. 15:27 You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning. John 16:4–15 – But I have said these things to you so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you about them. “I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. 16:5 But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 16:6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 16:8 And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 16:9 about sin, because they do not believe in me; 16:10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; 16:11 about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned. 16:12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 16:14 He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 16:15 All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
Summary – Jesus is in the Upper Room with the disciples at the Last Supper. He tells them that the Holy Spirit will be sent to them after He leaves following His death, resurrection and ascension. The Holy Spirit is called the Advocate who will convict the world of the sin of unbelief, of the righteousness of Jesus going to the Father and of the judgment of the ruler of this world (the devil). The Spirit of Truth will guide them into all truth. This truth is focused on Jesus. The Spirit will testify to the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Insight – Have you ever really been confused about something, then the light turned on in your mind and you fully understood it? Sometimes we call this an “epiphany” (a sudden manifestation of understanding). With spiritual things we don’t really have access to the light switch to turn it on for ourselves. We have to await the Holy Spirit’s work of turning on the light of the knowledge of Christ. This is what Christ says to the disciples in the Upper Room. He has many things He wants to say to them, but they cannot understand now. However, when the redemptive events of Christ’s death, resurrection and ascension unfold, then the Spirit will be given to them at Pentecost to fully convey His truth. The Spirit will guide them into all truth. If you consider the disciples actions during the trial of Jesus (such as the denial of Peter) and even after the resurrection, it is clear that they did not have the Spirit’s full understanding. But then at Pentecost the light is turned on!
Catechism – What does the Holy Spirit do? Guide us into all truth about Jesus.
Discussion – What kinds of truths did the Holy Spirit teach the apostles? Can you give some examples of the differences of the behavior of the Apostles before Pentecost and then after Pentecost?
Prayer – O Father of Light, guide us into the deepest truths of Jesus through the Holy Spirit you have given to us. Grant that we may be fully receptive to the light of the knowledge of this truth and through knowing this that our lives may be transformed to be your people in the world. In Christ’s Name. Amen.