Sunday 26 May 2019

Bible Book:

'But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.' (v. 26)

John 14:23-29 Sunday 26 May 2019

Psalm: Psalm 67


In writing today’s A Word in Time, I have a slight sense of déjà vu. Previously, we have reflected together on Genesis 49:1-10 and the final words of Jacob/Israel to his sons from his deathbed. This passage from John’s Gospel falls within the section often referred to as Jesus’ ‘farewell discourse’ (approximately 13:31–17:26) in which Jesus offers words of challenge and comfort to his friends (the ‘him’ referred to in v. 23 is ‘the other’ Judas) before leaving for the garden where he will be arrested and where the journey towards the cross will begin in earnest. There are parallels with passages in the Old Testament (including Jacob/Israel in Genesis 47:29–49:33, Joshua in Joshua 23:1–24:29 and David in 1 Chronicles 28–29) in which a leader makes a speech to those close to him before his impending death, offering instructions, reasons for hope, and assurance of God’s future protection. Uniquely, in Jesus’ farewell discourse, he both promises to return and offers comfort through the promise of the Holy Spirit, who will continue to teach and equip the disciples for the journey ahead.

The doctrine of the Trinity lies at the heart of Christian theology, and yet the Bible offers no explicit teachings on this (admittedly complex) subject. However, this passage is one of those that gives us a tantalising taste of the life of the Triune God – Jesus promises that the Father will send the Holy Spirit in his name (v. 26) and that he and the Father will make their home with all who love him (v. 23). This sense of ‘mutual indwelling’ is vital, not simply as an interesting piece of theology, but because Jesus’ followers (those in the room at the time, and those who would come to believe in the future – 17:20) are invited to share in a continuing relationship with the living Christ, through the power of the Spirit, who is sent to us by the Father. Jesus’ words – “Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid” (14:27) – reach beyond the page to all who seek to follow him today.


To Ponder:

  • Do you think the disciples would have felt ‘peaceful’ when they heard these words?
  • How do you relate to the Holy Spirit? (You might like to think about the role (or otherwise) of the Spirit in your favourite hymns and songs, or in your prayers.)
  • If you could leave your friends – perhaps your church community – with one final message, what would it be?
Previous Page Saturday 08 June 2019
Next Page Monday 27 May 2019