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John’s gospel post 71: Better

February 27, 2014

“Better you should pray to God
The Father and the Spirit
Will guide you and protect from up here

Can you hear me, can you hear me running?
Can you hear me running, can you hear me calling you?” Mike & the Mechanics

John 16: 1 – 15

Jesus came to bring love and peace.He came to make everything all right. Hopefully he came to overthrow the Roman occupiers of the time. Healings, miracles, resurrections. He was the one to be around. With him we would be safe.

So Jesus is being fair to his disciples. They are not to be under any illusions.

You think its easy to follow Jesus? You think its a cushy number? A prosperous existence? No Jesus says, “people are going to hate you. and I’m telling you this so that when it happens you won’t be surprised”.

Often in our evangelistic preaching we can spell out all the good things about following Jesus. It goes against the grain to set out the cost, to indicate that there is any sort of downside. But we mislead if we gloss these things over.

“You are going to be hated”.

“You are going to be religious outcasts. You won’t be welcome in the synagogues. In fact people are going to think they are doing the world a favour by bumping you off!”

Some pep talk this!

Jesus lays it on the line as to what it will be like when he is gone. It’s all sounding pretty grim. All this to go through and their teacher won’t even be there to help them through it.

I am guessing the disciples started worrying again.

In their confusion and grief they hear Jesus words – “it’s good for you that I am leaving you”.

How can this be true?

“Because if I stay then the advocate can’t come to represent you. He will show the world that they have got it wrong and face God’s judgement”.

It is as if Jesus is leaving his followers too abruptly. There is much more he would like to say but their advocate is going to advise them more fully. He will have much more to say to them.

He will guide them into truth and he will tell them about the future.

He will speak from God and he will glorify Jesus. He will not operate alone any more than Jesus did.

Most of us would probably say that we would love to have lived in Jesus’ day. To have met him, listened to him, watched him at work.

But Jesus tells us that we live in better days with greater potential. Hard to understand sometimes when we seem to be so hard of hearing when it comes to the words of the Holy Spirit to us.

Are we waiting for something more, or can we grasp that the Spirit of God lives in us? Right now. All day. Every day. 

Better learn to listen.

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From → Christianity

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