June 11, 2000

John 15:26-27, John 16:4b-15 (CEV)

I will send you the Spirit who comes from the Father and shows what is true. The Spirit will help you and will tell you about me. Then you will also tell others about me, because you have been with me from the beginning.

I was with you at the first, and so I didn't tell you these things. But now I am going back to the Father who sent me, and none of you asks me where I am going. You are very sad from hearing all of this. But I tell you that I am going to do what is best for you. That is why I am going away. The Holy Spirit cannot come to help you until I leave. But after I am gone, I will send the Spirit to you.

The Spirit will come and show the people of this world the truth about sin and God's justice and the judgment. The Spirit will show them that they are wrong about sin, because they didn't have faith in me. They are wrong about God's justice, because I am going to the Father, and you won't see me again. And they are wrong about the judgment, because God has already judged the ruler of this world.

I have much more to say to you, but right now it would be more than you could understand. The Spirit shows what is true and will come and guide you into the full truth. The Spirit doesn't speak on his own. He will tell you only what he has heard form me, and he will let you know what is going to happen. The Spirit will bring glory to me by taking my message and telling it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine. That is why I have said that the Spirit takes my message and tells it to you.


1. This passage contains some interesting ideas. The ways in which "sin" and "justice" and "judgment" are usually thought about are not helpful ways to think. Sin is usually thought of as action and here Jesus shifts the ground to lack of faith. Justice is usually thought of as immediate cause and effect and here Jesus shifts the ground to process. Judgment is usually thought of as future upon the present and Jesus here shifts the ground to living out of a previous decision.

How do you think of "sin"? of "justice"? of "judgment"?
Think carefully for your thoughts do make a difference in your living.

2. This passage goes on to raise a key issue in the area of Biblical Authority. What does it mean that Jesus has much more to say to us which is too much for our past and present maturity? Jesus goes on to speak of the Holy Spirit coming to teach us more. Does that more only extend through Paul in the his known letters to churches shortly after Jesus' death? Does that extend only through John's revelation? Is this promise of Jesus continue to this day? What you think about this does make a difference in many things. Think carefully.

3. So, what is Jesus' message which the Spirit brings to us and tells us? Is it more than, "Jesus loves you"? Is the message one of micro-managing details or broadly stroked through the present to the future? How would you describe the message Jesus sends to you and to others?

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