June 8, 2003

John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15

When the Friend I plan to send you from the Father comes ­ the Spirit of Truth issuing from the Father ­ he will confirm everything about me. You, too, from your side must give your confirming evidence, since you are in this with me from the start.

I've told you these things so that when the time comes and they start in on you, you'll be well-warned and ready for them.

I didn't tell you this earlier because I was with you every day. But now I am on my way to the One who sent me. Not one of you has asked, "where are you going?" Instead, the longer I've talked, the sadder you've become. So let me say again, this truth: It's better for you that I leave. If I don't leave, the Friend won't come. But if I go, I'll send him to you.

When he comes, he'll expose the error of the godless worlds' view of sin, righteousness, and judgment: He'll show them that their refusal to believe in me is their basic sin; that righteousness comes from above, where I am with the Father, out of their sight and control; that judgment takes place as the ruler of this godless world is brought to trial and convicted.

I still have many things to tell you, but you can't handle them now. But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the 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. Oh my, Jesus still has many things to tell us that we still can't handle. Is that correct or was it only true for the disciples of old and once said Friend arrived on Pentecost that we can say we have a handle on truth to the point of the ineffable becoming infallible?

It sounds here as if truth's function is to reveal untruth. It is only in the awareness of the choice that truth becomes revealed for what it is. Might this be part of the revelation, that truth is not Truth and the way we have been thinking about that is less than helpful?

2. So often we get caught up in trying to make sense out of what has happened. Making meaning is a very human trait. It is even a survival mechanism. It gets projected on to the future, constraining it. How might you make sense out of the what is about to happen without limiting it to a logical step from the present? If there is more to learn but we are not ready for it, might a part of that dynamic be that our inability to handle it is in some way related to our unwillingness to think beyond the past? It is difficult work to make meaning from the past and/or the present. We don't like to give up all that work (as though it the end-all and be-all of life). We get tired and don't want to reshape such hard-won meaning.

3. What do you use for confirming evidence that Jesus' Friend is still on the way? What do you use for evidence that we have been visited and empowered by GOD's new heaven and new earth? What do you use for evidence that Jesus' leaving us was best for us as we proceed maturing in faith, hope and love?