Scripture: John 14:8-17
O God… grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy your consolations. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” This is where the rubber meets the road. And where the rub lies — except for the promise that follows: “I will ask the Father, and he will send another Companion, who will be with you forever” (CEB). Jesus knows that the disciples cannot do it alone, just as we cannot.
But this Companion, the Spirit of truth, can be received only by those who know Christ. Jesus tells the disciples that the world can neither see nor recognize this Spirit. Those in the world cannot begin to understand. As Paul told the Corinthians, “People who are unspiritual don’t accept the things from God’s Spirit. They… can only be comprehended in a spiritual way” (1 Corinthians 2:14 CEB). This may explain much of the confusion people experience in trying to understand the Spirit.
Jesus also stipulates two more important functions of the Companion-to-come: the Spirit will remind them of what Jesus has said to them and, beyond that, will teach them new things. Jesus knows that they will forget his teachings, and he realizes that in the future they will face situations and challenges he has taught them about. Jesus is human, limited by time and space, but the Spirit is not.
The Holy Spirit is God with us in unlimited ways. When we go “off the grid,” when we face situations that the Bible does not address, the Spirit becomes our source of wisdom. When we are asked to explain our faith in Christ, the Spirit will give us words at that moment. As far into the future as we can see, and beyond, the Spirit will be our companion — “forever.”
Come, Holy Spirit, and help me to live what I believe. Amen.
By Mary Lou Redding, Upper Room Disciplines 2013, p. 170.