Daily Devotional: John 15:26–16:15
26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father — the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father — he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.
16 “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, 5 but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. 7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Jn 15:26–16:15.
The Holy Spirit is many things, but John puts special emphasis on how He guides us into truth.
It makes sense, since John has taken care since the very beginning of his Gospel to dissect truth and knowledge, to push people to see that knowledge doesn’t ever seem to come as easily as assimilating facts, but inevitably there are faith and emotional elements to knowledge that predispose people from knowing truth.
But Jesus, here, emphasizes the urgency of the hour, and makes it clear that the disciples will need supernatural intervention in order to actually know up from down as the season changes. As Jesus prepares to depart this world, He knows what they’re up against — the religious fervor of those who think they will be doing a service to God to persecute these men. It’s a terrible thing to be in the gallows for that kind of inquisition — to go against established systems and authorities is exactly the kind of thing that begins to invert what you believe to be true or untrue.
When the people in your life or in society who have, for all your life, been the arbiters of truth — whether they be pastors, politicians, or high priests — suddenly turn against you for asserting something contrary to them, it isn’t exactly easy to believe yourself.
“Did I just imagine it? Maybe I’ve got it twisted. Everyone else seems to be following the religious norms.”
At times, it can feel as though someone, something, put a pair of glasses on you and now there is zero ability to take them off. You simply see everything differently than you did maybe even six months prior, and now, just because your vision has changed, you find yourself opposed by those who taught you to think and believe in the first place.
For such seasons, though, it’s there we learn to hear the Spirit of truth for ourselves. That which started out as a whisper will turn into a loudspeaker in your life as He keeps urging you on.
It’s what the disciples went through.
Truthfully, it’s what every person who wants to endeavor to real spiritual revelation goes through, if only to teach you that yesterday’s manna ought to stay right there, and that there’s fresh supply coming for the age today, with it’s different fights, different values, and different needs.
It’s to the point that perhaps two of the most meaningful tweets I’ve read in the past year constantly speak loudly to me with a fresh prophetic fire.
Don’t be afraid to cross the lines those in front of you would never have dared.
Lean into the Spirit of truth in those seasons, and if you are called to do that which offends those who came before you, just remember, it’s not unusual — it’s how the darn apostolic story of our faith heritage started.