Summary: Jesus shared His last will and Testament with His diciples. What did He bequeath to them to give them confidence and hope?
“Setting Troubled Hearts at Rest: A Basis for Relief”
We usually see the scene in a movie or a television ad – the head of the family has died and the family is sitting nervously in the lawyer’s office as he prepares to read the will. Tension and anxiety fill the air. Some are leery, some are hopeful. Then the will is read and each is bequeathed something - some are disappointed, some angry, and some thrilled. But each person now knows just what the deceased thought of them, how much he valued them. But now life must go on.
John 14 portrays a similar scene. A family is gathered for the reading of the will – but there is no lawyer. In fact, the head of the family is still alive and no one knew He would be sharing his last will and testament. But that’s just what Jesus does as He wraps up their time in the upper room. And what He bequeaths is a basis for relief, even if it would take a while for the disciples to realize it.
The first item Jesus bequeathed was POWER FOR LEARNING AND GROWING. He promised to send them a professor, a mentor, who would do two primary things. First he would TEACH THEM. In Psalm 32:8 God told David, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” Jesus announces the ultimate fulfillment of the promise: “…the Counselor, the Holy Spirit…will teach you all things…” Jesus has been the lesson book and the Holy Spirit will now be the teacher to explain the text and make it clear. He will unfold the meaning of Jesus’ words and life on a need to know basis. Whatever the disciples needed to know to better understand and witness for Jesus, the Holy Spirit would teach them. At the moment they could not know or understand Jesus’ Palm Sunday entrance into Jerusalem, nor His death on the cross, nor His resurrection, nor His ascension, nor Pentecost. As those events occurred, their teacher, the Holy Spirit, would teach, explain, and make them clear.
To put it another way, the Holy Spirit would change the way disciples – including us – perceive and process reality. HE WILL GIVE US THE MIND OF CHRIST, so we can live out the will of God our Father in all things and all circumstances. He will give us discernment. Paul wrote about it in one of his letters to the Corinthian Church (1 Cor. 2: 6-16). “…No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God—his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord. That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths. But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. For, “Who can know the LORD’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.”
In addition to teaching them the Holy Spirit< Jesus said, would REMIND THEM. How many of you can remember what I said last week? (It’s okay to be honest…) What about what I said two weeks ago? Ah, how soon we forget! Well imagine the disciples. They had been listening to Jesus for three years! And now He was dumping all this information on them in such a way that their minds were in a fog. How in the world could they ever remember the many things Jesus taught them? “…the Counselor, the Holy Spirit…will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” THE BIBLE IS PROOF THAT JESUS WAS RIGHT. We need to remember that the Gospels were not first books of the New Testament to be written. The disciples hadn’t written down Jesus’ words as He spoke them – they didn’t take minutes. It was at least ten years after Jesus’ life and death that the first Gospel was written; John didn’t write his until 40-50 years later. So how could they remember so much? The Holy Spirit brought to remembrance.