June 10, 2001

John 16:12-15

"I still have many things to tell you, but you can't handle them now. But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. He won't draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen and, indeed, out of all that I have done and said. He will honor me; he will take from me and deliver it to you. Everything the Father has is also mine. That is why I've said, 'He takes from me and delivers to you.'"

<The Message >


1. For a short passage, this one brings a divisive issue to the fore - revelation.

Is this Spirit of Truth simply clarifying the eternal and complete revelations already given, working to help us understand, or is this Spirit of Truth bringing new or additional revelations, which may cause us to revise the value of previous revelations?

Try walking that divide in a sermon and folks may well wonder, "What'd they say?"

For me it is important to be clear about which side I am on and to speak that truth as clearly as possible. For me the new and additional is the land of All-The-Truth-There-Is.

2. The image of being taken by the hand is a powerful one. Right now my hand is bandaged as the result of a second-degree burn at the base of my right thumb. (Yes, stupidity, knows no age limit.)

Were Jesus to take my hand I would want that to be a gentle taking, not a yanking me along. I would want to lovingly and trustingly "put my hand in the hand of the man who stilled the waters," not imploringly/demandingly whining, "Take me along now!"

What would it mean for you as an individual and us as a congregation to be able to wait to be taken by the hand?

3. Meditate on what it means for the Spirit of Truth to not draw attention to itself.

If we had a sure and certain guide to the Land-Of-All-Truth wouldn't we be trumpeting it to the sky.

What a humble image this is. This is the spirit which came in silence, not a whirlwind, and which is best seen in the way in which we love each other.

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