The Helper

Scripture: John 16:7, ‘Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.’

 

Observations: Jesus has been talking about leaving his disciples for some time (since 14:1), and he senses they are saddened by that news (v6). But he assures them that his leaving ‘is to their advantage,’ by which he means it will benefit them. It is only by returning to heaven that he can send the Holy Spirit, or ‘the Helper.’ I often wondered if I would have more faith if I had seen Jesus with my own eyes, but the truth is countless thousands saw Jesus with their own eyes, and heard him speak with their own ears, and even touched him with their own hands, and yet they did not believe. It’s only the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts that makes the difference, that turns our sinful hearts away from ourselves and towards Jesus. It’s the Holy Spirit regenerates our dead hearts and grows our faith. It’s the Holy Spirit who gives us boldness and the words to share the gospel. IT’s the Holy Spirit who helps us live for Jesus Christ.

 

Application: If Jesus has given us the Holy Spirit we have all the help that we will ever need, the challenge for us is how do we avail ourselves of the Spirit’s presence and power? Firstly, Jesus talks about asking him for what we need (v23-24). When we pray to the Father in the name of Jesus the Spirit responds. Secondly, the Spirit primarily works through God’s word. When we read God’s word the Spirit uses it to guide and encourage us. Thirdly, the Spirit equips us to serve, so when we are actively serving God in this world we will experience the Spirit’s power at work through us. Fourthly, when we chose to live like Jesus, we will keep in step with the Spirit. The closer we are to Jesus the more we will see the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.

 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, in Your mercy and grace You have given me Your Holy Spirit. He has changed my life, turning me from myself to Your Son Jesus Christ. He has called me to service You and Your people. He has opened up my eyes to see Jesus, not just as a good person, but as Your Son, God in the flesh, and as my Lord and Saviour. And He lives in me confronting my sinfulness, enabling my service, and making me more like Jesus. Lord, may I increasingly know the help of Your Spirit. May my faith, and my obedience, and my character continue to grow more like Jesus. May Your Spirit truly be my help in life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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