John 16

John 16 Devotional
by Pastor Lawrence

As Jesus is continuing to prepare his disciples for his departure, he reveals to them more of the role of the Holy Spirit whom he is sending to help them in their work and to comfort them in their trials. Jesus says that there will be many who will oppose their message and even seek to kill them because of the gospel. But the Holy Spirit will come to uphold them in their sufferings and to empower them in their witness, for it is He who will convict the world of sin, righteousness and the judgment to come, enabling the elect to believe their message of the gospel and to cut ties with the prince of this world whose judgment is impending.

The Holy Spirit would also enable them to understand much of the truth that Jesus had already shared with his disciples but they did not grasp because they were too dull of hearing and too slow to learn. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would guide them into the truth and help them to understand the things that were to come. Even more importantly, the Holy Spirit would continue to put the spotlight on Christ himself, not promoting His own glory, but solely promoting the glory of Jesus. In fact, that is the easiest way one can tell whether a particular ministry or minister is of God and in step with the Holy Spirit, for that person or work will never focus on man or even on the mysterious work of the Spirit, but will instead focus solely on Christ, for even the Holy Spirit seeks not bring attention to Himself but to give glory to the Son of God.

Although Jesus doesn’t directly attribute to the Spirit the new form of prayer in which the disciples would pray in the name of Jesus, clearly the implication is that this is the work of the Spirit as well to teach God’s people how to pray and how to seek the glory of Christ in prayer. He also is the one who would grant peace to the sons of God through prayer in the midst of trials and tribulation. And that is the note that Jesus ends on in this chapter with that word of encouragement that He is not leaving them as orphans nor as a small band of men vanquished by their enemies. Rather, he assures them that He has overcome the world and that He is leaving His peace with them through the ministry of the Holy Spirit who will continue to grant them faith, encouragement and power to finish the unfinished task of preaching the gospel to all nations.

Although the Holy Spirit did come upon the apostles in a very unique way to assist them in their privileged position, he indwells us and aids us in the same manner as He did with them. He still helps us in our witness, empowers us in our work, comforts us with the promises of God, assists us in prayer and points us to Christ. Indeed, the Holy Spirit is our great Helper in giving glory to Christ in all things.