As I boarded the airplane to study in a city a thousand miles from home, I felt nervous and alone. But during the flight, I remembered how Jesus promised His disciples the comforting presence of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus’s friends must have felt bewildered when He told them, “It is for your good that I am going away” (John 16:7). How could they who witnessed His miracles and learned from His teaching be better off without Him? But Jesus told them that if He left, then the Advocate—the Holy Spirit—would come.
Jesus, nearing His last hours on earth, shared with His disciples (in John 14–17, today known as the "Farewell Discourse") to help them understand His death and ascension. Central in this conversation was the coming Holy Spirit, an advocate who would be with them (14:16–17), teaching (15:15), testifying (v. 26), and guiding them (16:13).
We who have accepted God’s offer of new life have been given this gift of His Spirit living within us. From Him we receive so much: He convicts us of our sins and helps us to repent. He brings us comfort when we ache, strength to bear hardships, wisdom to understand God’s teaching, hope and faith to believe, love to share.
We can rejoice that Jesus sent us the Advocate.
Heavenly Father, You sent Your Son to save us and Your Spirit to comfort and convict us. May we bring You glory as we thank You for Your goodness and love.
The Holy Spirit fills Jesus’s followers.
When Jesus comforts His disciples before His impending crucifixion and eventual ascension (going back to heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father), Jesus says He must go away so the Holy Spirit will come. The disciples didn't know the Holy Spirit, so how would His coming comfort them? Jesus offers the answer. The Spirit will continue what Jesus started. He will bring conviction of sin, righteousness, and judgment. He will speak to the disciples not simply on behalf of Jesus, but He will speak to them the very words Jesus speaks (John 16:13–15). The Spirit would be with them in a way that Jesus couldn’t be. No matter where each of them went, together or separately, the Spirit—and therefore Jesus Himself—would be with them.
For more on the Holy Spirit read Filled with the Spirit at discoveryseries.org/q0301.