Summary: This sermon is the first in a series on the Holy Spirit’s Guidance in our lives. This message specifically touches on our candidacy for His guidance.
(E) All to You (Lincoln Brewster)
(E) You are the One (Baloche/Brewster)
(B) God is Great (Hillsongs)
My Unseen Guide—Part 1
It was just hours before his arrest when Jesus and his most trusted friends gathered to share the Passover meal. Jesus knew it would b their last time together before his arrest and crucifixion, so he began to prepare them for the tough days ahead.
He told them many things, none more confusing than his assertion that he was about to leave them—and that leaving them was actually a good thing.
This had to mess with their minds. Only recently they had come of the full realization of who Jesus was. Far more than a great teacher, prophet and leader, he was the Messiah—the deliverer for whom God’s people had waited so long.
Now he was talking about leaving, claiming this would be even better for them than if he stayed. This must have struck them as nonsense.
But it wasn’t nonsense. It was part of the plan. Once he was gone the Holy Spirit would be sent to come and live within them; which he was around that couldn’t happen.
If only his hearers had understood what he was saying they would have been awestruck. The promise was breathtaking. Jesus was telling them that the exact same Spirit who had guided and empowered his life and ministry was about to come and provide each of them with all the spiritual guidance and power they’d ever need. And he’d do it from the inside out. Wow! Yet at the time they didn’t grasp a word of it.
With the advantage of hindsight, it’s understandable. Their minds were too filled with dreams of grandeur. They’d arrived in Jerusalem just a few days earlier, having come to celebrate the Passover. Throughout the trip Jesus had been dropping hints that he was up to something big, that this would be an especially eventful visit to the holy city.
To their ears, this could mean only one thing; He was about to reveal himself to the masses. He was about to take over as king.
They were so sure of it, they’d been secretly arguing about who would have what roles in the royal government. Two of them, had even gone so far as to have their mother lobby Jesus on their behalf, seeking prime positions for them in the new regime.
With throngs of fellow pilgrims swelling the streets for Passover, the timing must have seemed perfect. The only problem was the religious leaders. They weren’t on board. But surely once Jesus revealed himself and set up his kingdom, they’d come around quickly enough.
The Roman oppressors wouldn’t have a chance. Not with Jesus leading the way. He’d already shown his mastery over disease, demons, nature and even death. He’s stilled the storm, walked on water, and raised the dead. Even the world’s best trained soldiers couldn’t stand up to that kind of power.
His disciples had to be pumped. Everything was falling their way. They’d hitched their wagon to the Messiah and been picked for his inner circle. Now, in just a few days he would be king, and they’d be set for life.
But we know that’s not how it played out.
Jesus didn’t conquer the Roman. He didn’t set up an earthly government. He was arrested, tried and executed. And even when he came back to life three days later, it still wasn’t to overthrow the Romans or set up an earthly kingdom. Instead, he spent the days immediately following his resurrection instructing and preparing his followers to lead a heavenly kingdom that was spiritual in nature. And then, without much warning, he left them again—this time floating up into the heavens as they watched helplessly below.
He promised to come back. They thought and hoped it would be soon. 2000 years later we’re still waiting. How could this be a good thing>
A short time later it all made sense to them.
As they waited in the upper room for the promised Spirit, he suddenly showed up. Instantly they experienced what Jesus had promised. The same Spirit who guided and empowered him for ministry now resided within them. It’s an amazing story!!
Up to this point, the only time his followers had been able to experience the full power, guidance and wisdom of God was when they were in the physical presence of Jesus. Now that limitation of time and space was gone!
The Holy Spirit was no longer simply with them, he was in them.
With that simple but profound change, they hyper-expansion of Christianity began. No longer bound by the limitations of Jesus’ physical presence, the gospel’s power and message spread at a dizzying pace, accompanied by signs, wonders, and the amazing miracles of conversion and transformation.