There was once a time when the world knew not of its Savior. Yet there was hope because it had been foretold that a child would be born and called Emmanuel – God is with us. In Lent, we prepare for his coming anew. During this season, we discover for ourselves the call of salvation and the promise of eternal life.
It was time to leave. When the apostles asked where he was going, Jesus said:
“Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.” (John 13:36)
They were concerned, some were quite upset. They were devoted to Jesus, they had pledged their souls to him. What would happen to them now? Jesus told them they would not be alone:
“I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. (John 14:16 – 17)
A Helper, a Spirit? Who could this be that would take the place of Jesus Christ? Jesus told them:
“The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (John 14:26)
Still, some were unsure and voiced their skepticism and so Jesus gave them his loving assurance:
“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. (John 16:7)
Jesus told them it would be to their advantage if he left the world because then they would receive the Holy Spirit. How amazing is this man and how amazing must be the Holy Spirit! But this was too much for the apostles to comprehend so Jesus ended the conversation by saying:
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit comes, he will guide you in truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. (John 16:12 – 13)
The Spirit will guide us in the truth of what is and of what is yet to come. And when Jesus left the world, the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles:
“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts of the Apostles 2:2 – 4)
The Holy Spirit brought understanding to all who gathered in Jesus’ name, no matter who they were or where they were from. Peter stood among the crowd and explained what had just happened:
“This Jesus, God raised up. Of that we are all witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. (Acts 2:32 – 33)
Jesus poured out the Holy Spirit to the apostles so that they would see and perceive, hear and understand. And he pours out the Holy Spirit to us, as well. To everyone who takes Jesus into their heart, Jesus endows us with the Holy Spirit who will be our Helper and Voice of Truth; our Advocate, Comforter, and wonderful Counselor.
We are not alone.
Come, Holy Spirit.
These Gospel stories are re-imagined in the book series:
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