Summary: Exposition of John
Text: John 14:16-18, Title: More Comfort, Date/Place: NRBC, 6/2/13, AM
A. Opening illustration: What if President Obama says in 2016, “I have to go away, but don’t worry, I won’t leave you as orphans, I’m coming back to you. I am praying to my father, and he will send you another helper just like me, and he will guide you…”?
B. Background to passage: Jesus has told them that He is going away, and they should not let their hearts be troubled, but they should believe in Him, trust Him, follow Him, love Him, love each other, do the works He did, even greater ones, because of the completion of the cross, the prayer in His name, and through loving Him by obedience to His commands. Much advice Jesus has given them in preparing them for His leaving them. All of this to comfort them, but there’s more, He then says He will pray for them, and God will answer. He speaks about His relationship to them as that of a father to his children. And even though He has been clear that he must go, He says, “I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.” In the bible, that is what an orphan needed was an advocate. He says I am coming back in the form of the Spirit.
C. Main thought: more comfort to disciples b/c He is going away and the Helper is coming
A. Abide Forever (v. 16)
1. The disciples had just invested 3 years of their lives. They had given up time with their families, businesses, roofs over their heads, and all sorts of other comforts. They had gone through storms on the sea, angry crowds who wanted to throw people off cliffs, seeing “ghosts” on the water, demons here, demons there, hunger, and all the elements in hopes of a part of the coming kingdom that Jesus was going to establish. And now he was going away! But the Spirit Jesus said would stay with them FOREVER!
3. Illustration: nothing that we know of is eternal, most things in our lives are not eternal – story of the husband and wife dying two days apart last week, same funeral, etc.
4. Jesus’ words that we love to quote about never leaving us or forsaking us have a general meaning in our minds that God will not forsake us. But the reality is that His actual presence and empowering companionship that will never go away and whose company we presently enjoy if we live in that realization is that of the Holy Spirit. And it will NEVER go away. When you can’t feel Him, He’s there. In your darkest moments, He’s there. In your finest hour, He’s there. If you live to be 110, He will be there with you, in you, surrounding you, speaking to you, in presence every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year! He abides forever.
B. Spirit of Truth (v. 17)
1. Names and personhood of the Spirit. Read the names of the Spirit, read elements of personhood, and the divine attributes of the Spirit. He is not some inanimate, impersonal, Star Wars-like “force.” He is a person. That is hard to fathom for us, but the language we use as individuals and as a church is important. But Jesus uses this name for Him three times in this talk, and John uses it once more. He will never lead us wrong. It is what Jesus is called. It is an attribute of God.
2. 1 John 2:27, 4:6
3. Illustration: I grew up in the ‘80s, and those of you who loved Star Wars then or the later version now can appreciate the hearing Obiwon saying, “May the force be with you.”
4. Knowing about the Spirit will help us appreciate His ministry and rely on Him more. Learning to call Him a “him” rather than “it” will demonstrate a great truth to others around you. In the past we have been afraid to call Him by name and speak of Him much so as not to be mistaken as charismatics or Pentecostals. But if we know Him, are in touch with Him, He will not lead us astray.
C. Unknown to Unbelievers (v. 17)
1. Inability of the world to discern spiritual things. The bible teaches that the natural man is crippled, not necessarily in his intellect, but in his spirit, in his heart. He cannot understand, eyes of his heart are not open. Notice it says the world cannot receive the Spirit because it does not see Him or Know him. This indicates the revealing of Christ to believers because they will know Him (the Spirit) because they know Christ.