25 May 2014John 14:15-21
"This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you ... They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them". (vv. 17, 21)
In the first part of this chapter, Jesus has explained how he
will be going to the Father (returning to God) and because the
disciples have known him, they will know the Father too.
In this passage, Jesus assures the disciples that when he has returned to the Father, they will always have a 'helper' to assist them in finding the truth. This 'helper' or 'advocate' is described as "the Spirit of truth" (verse 17) - one who will be there to provide whatever help is needed. Jesus expects the disciples to respond by showing their love for him through obedience to his word. As a result, the disciples will know the truth about God and the reality of God's love for them.
God will not be known by some manifestation to the world, but in love and obedience with the assistance of the 'helper'.
It may be a reflection of my personality type, but I find that knowing 'truth' is a lot easier than knowing the reality that I am loved. It's clear to me, however, that I am at my best when I am aware of both dimensions.
Perhaps these could be useful dimensions for a congregation or a church too. Having the twin priorities of:
- constantly searching for and acting obediently on God's truths, and
- sharing and celebrating the reality of God's love
seem to be a good balance for a disciple.
- How do you respond to the following statements?
Too much certainty of
truth slows the search for God.
Too much certainty of love takes the urgency from faithfulness.
- Are there times in your life when you have felt the "Spirit of truth" guiding you? What help was provided?