John 16:4b-7

[Jesus said:] "I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, 'Where are you going?' Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you."

Jesus knows his apostles are filled with grief as he talks to them about his imminent departure, but he assures them that his going away is for their good. Why? Because it will lead to the coming of the Advocate, the Holy Spirit.

This raises an interesting question: why did Jesus have to go for the Holy Spirit to come? Couldn't God have sent the Spirit while Jesus was still on earth?

To understand this, we need to grasp the bigger picture of God's plan of redemption. Jesus came to earth to live a perfect life, die a sacrificial death, and rise again, thereby securing our salvation. But his work didn't end there. He ascended to the Father to take his rightful place at God's right hand, where he intercedes for us (Romans 8:34).

It is from this position of authority and victory that Jesus sends the Holy Spirit. The Spirit comes as the seal and guarantee of our salvation (Ephesians 1:13-14), as the one who applies the benefits of Christ's work to our lives. He couldn't come in fullness until Christ's work was completed.

Moreover, Jesus' physical presence was limited to one place at a time. But the Spirit can be everywhere, dwelling in every believer. In this way, Jesus' departure allows for a more intimate and universal experience of God's presence.

So while the disciples grieved at the thought of Jesus leaving, his departure was necessary for the next stage of God's plan. And what a glorious stage it is! Through the Spirit, we have the very presence of God living within us, guiding, comforting, and empowering us.

If you are feeling the absence of Jesus today, remember that he has not left you alone. He has sent his Spirit to be with you always. Lean into the Spirit's presence and let him fill you afresh with the love and power of Christ.

God bless you.

More in this category: « John 16:1-4a John 16:8-11 »
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