Monday in the Twenty-Eighth Week of Ordinary Time

John 14:12-17

Jesus Begins Telling His Disciples about the Holy Spirit

What makes the discourses of Jesus here in John 14-17 so important and so rich is his teaching about the Holy Spirit.  Indeed, it is in this very place that we read most of what we know about the Spirit and his work, at least in the gospels.  We will see this unfold in the next several devotions.

Jesus begins by informing his disciples the incredible truth that they would soon do even greater works than he has done, “because I am going to the Father.”  Jesus sits at the right hand of God, first, because it is his rightful place as the exalted Son; and, second, to be our intercessor (Hebrews 7:25).  Also understood here, but stated later, is that the removal of Jesus to the right hand of the Father means the coming of the Holy Spirit upon his Church, which is what the rest of the passage is about.  Okay, granted, Jesus is exalted to the right hand and intercedes for us, but how have we done greater things than he?  Who has raised the dead, stilled a storm, or caused the blind to see?  Jesus did not mean that his disciples would do more amazing things than he did, but greater in the sense of the founding of the Church and the Spirit’s blessing upon her evangelistic efforts so that she has spread all across the globe.  He also means her ministry of teaching and works of mercy that have tamed the world over the last two millennia.  Greater works she would also do because of the prayers of her saints who pray “in Jesus’ name,” meaning according to his will and way.  These are the greater things, and they are greater because Christ is seated at the right hand making intercession for us in heaven, and the Holy Spirit is within us, empowering us, and making intercession for us on earth.

And it is just after this that Jesus explicitly mentions the Holy Spirit, but under the titles of “Helper” (or “Advocate” or “Comforter”) and “Spirit of Truth.”  He was the Holy Spirit that Jesus asked of the Father that was then sent upon the Church – the Father’s great gift to His Son, and through His Son to the Church.  Jesus says, “another Helper” so that we would understand that the Holy Spirit is other than himself or the Father, the third person of the Triune God.  He is the Spirit whom the world neither sees nor knows, just as it neither saw nor knew who Jesus was when he was here (John 1:10-11).  But God’s people know him because he takes up residence within them.  Thus, he is the Spirit who gives God’s people a love for Jesus that results in keeping his commandments.  This promise still holds true: Greater things we can do, because he is at the right hand, and the Spirit is within us.  Thus, we have the best “Helper” anyone could ask for.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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