John 16.8-15… Now we talk about the Holy Spirit. Our friend and guide.
John 16.8-15 “When he comes, he’ll expose the error of the godless world’s view of sin, righteousness, and judgment: He’ll show them that their refusal to believe in me is their basic sin; that righteousness comes from above, where I am with the Father, out of their sight and control; that judgment takes place as the ruler of this godless world is brought to trial and convicted.
12-15“I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t handle them now. But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. He won’t draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen and, indeed, out of all that I have done and said. He will honor me; he will take from me and deliver it to you. Everything the Father has is also mine. That is why I’ve said, ‘He takes from me and delivers to you.’
So much confusion over the years about the role of the Holy Spirit (from now on designated by “HS”). The church I grew up in in Australia went through a split over different understandings of the HS’s working. Whatever that was about, it certainly didn’t smell like love. It smelled like something else… The primary issue ended up being about whether or not a person had had a certain experience. The have’s and the ‘have-nots’. I prayed and prayed as a new Christian at age 19, and I remained one of the have-nots.
Jesus here begins talking about the ministry of the HS. And as best i understand it, His role is to take people from where they are, and move them till they see things the way that the Father sees things. Seeing Jesus as he is, seeing sin as it is. Working in our lives to move us from where we are, to the place where our perspective on things more closely matches the perspective of our Father. He “takes us by the hand” and moves us forward. Jesus has so much more to say to us, but cannot because we can’t handle them. I wonder if our ability to “handle” the things that Jesus wants to say to us is in direct proportion to the depth of our love relationship with him.
The HS apparently is not interested in drawing attention to himself, but to Jesus. Interesting that Jesus is not interested in drawing attention to himself, but to his father. But a lot of the people that I know who claim to be lead by the spirit used to get a lot of attention. Some of them even end up on TV.
The spirit points to Jesus. Jesus points to the Father, and the Father at the end of all things put’s everything under the feet of Jesus. What – no personal agendas or being recognized?? Maybe this is evidence of the presence of the HS more than this other stuff that split my church many years ago. Growing more and more comfortable with the perspective of the Father… and being willing to give Jesus the credit for everything. “He must increase, and I must decrease.” The spirit gives to the disciples what Jesus gives. Jesus gives to the HS what he has been given from the Father.
I used to carry a piece of baggage around inside my soul, called SIBUG. (Self Inflated Bag of Unrecognized Greatness). Figured it was just a matter of time till people recognized the greatness in me. Every day I looked for that glimmer in another’s eye that told me they got it. I was awesome, and deserved to be recognized as such. (Smaller name might be pride – but we’ll go with SIBUG for the moment). It get’s pretty heavy carrying this bag around. And makes me mad when people didn’t get it (or possible they were just ignorant, or self-consumed… not like me). Until one day Jesus poured his amazing love into my heart, and I realized that every hunger of my heart would be satisfied in simply being “well-loved” as Brennan Manning calls it.
You and I are to give to each other what we have received – unconditional love, compassion, forgiveness, grace. More evidence of the HS I think.
And what fills me with hope in this process is that the HS “takes me by the hand” in this. He doesn’t stand there and condemn me for not being more spiritual. He doesn’t give me three more principals to master. He takes me by the hand, and invites me to walk with him.