John 16:12-15 (NRSV)
Verse 12"I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. Verse 13When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. Verse 14He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. Verse 15All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
“When the Spirit of God comes, he will guide you into all truth.” In chapters 13-17 of John’s Gospel, Jesus addresses his gathered disciples before his coming passion and death, with words the truth of which they are not quite ready to comprehend.
No one is ever ready to hear the devastating news of a loved one’s death. That was true years ago when I received the word of my Navy brother’s death while flying over the Mediterranean.
What the disciples thought would be a typical Passover meal, Jesus turns into preparation for what is to come. After washing the disciples’ feet, predicting Peter’s denial, promising God’s eternal presence, and describing their relationship as like a vine and its branches, he addresses the fear and grief all of them were feeling.
I encourage you to pause for a moment, take a deep breath, and consider what is happening. While reading the text again, I invite you to imagine their intense emotions and include yourself as one of Jesus’ hearers.
Come Lord Jesus, come and be more than a guest in our lives. May your Holy Spirit stir us to better understand what you not only did for the disciples, but what you have given to each of us. Amen.