International Sunday School Lesson
For Sunday March 15, 2015
Purpose: To claim the power of the Holy Spirit as a guide for our lives
Bible Lesson: John 16:4b-15
John 16:4b-15 (CEB)
“I didn’t say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. (5) But now I go away to the one who sent me. None of you ask me, ‘Where are you going?’(6)Yet because I have said these things to you, you are filled with sorrow. (7) I assure you that it is better for you that I go away. If I don’t go away, the Companion won’t come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. (8) When he comes, he will show the world it was wrong about sin, righteousness, and judgment. (9) He will show the world it was wrong about sin because they don’t believe in me. (10) He will show the world it was wrong about righteousness because I’m going to the Father and you won’t see me anymore. (11) He will show the world it was wrong about judgment because this world’s ruler stands condemned.
(12) "I have much more to say to you, but you can’t handle it now. (13) However, when the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you in all truth. He won’t speak on his own, but will say whatever he hears and will proclaim to you what is to come. (14) He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and proclaim it to you. (15) Everything that the Father has is mine. That’s why I said that the Spirit that is mine and will proclaim it to you.
My Thoughts by Burgess Walter
This week’s text continues Jesus’ Farewell Discourse. The rubber is about to meet the road. Jesus is telling his disciples how things are going to play out. In order for them to understand everything better, Jesus will have to leave, and the Holy Spirit will come and be their guide.
None of us like goodbyes, I am sure the disciples were very disappointed and sorrowful about Jesus leaving them. It was probably similar to what we feel as parents when we drop our kids off at school for the first time. Growing begins with a new reality. For the kids it is a time of angst. How will they know where to go? What will the teacher be like?
Jesus explains to the disciples that it is in Him going back to the Father that will make all that has been taught start to make sense. When the Holy Spirit comes, all that I have taught you, will become clearer for you to understand. Evidently Jesus incarnate and the Holy Spirit cannot be on earth at the same time. However, Jesus and God are one and they can co-exist in glory. The Holy Spirit is only present in the absence of Jesus on earth. The role of the Holy Spirit is that of teaching us about God. The Holy Spirit reveals the world as hopelessly lost, which is what Jesus taught. Jesus said, “The light came into the world, and people loved darkness more than light, for their actions are evil” (John 3:19). All who fail to believe are guilty of sinning against God. Simply saying we believe in Jesus does not count. Only when our actions in the way we live are aligned with Jesus teachings does our belief have meaning. Remember the devils believe. Proclaiming Jesus as Lord, but not following his teachings will not suffice.
Another duty of the Holy Spirit is allowing the followers of Christ to see and understand that Jesus returning to the Father after his death confirms that Jesus was who he said he was. The world was condemned for how it treated Jesus, the world of unbelievers is condemned today in the same way.
It is through Jesus returning to the Father, that sin and evil are defeated. The Holy Spirit allows us to understand that Satan has already been defeated. The resurrection assured the victory, and as believers we share in that victory. That is the good news, we can live in victory over sin and evil, with the help of the Holy Spirit.
So if we look at verse 15 we see that the Spirit’s relationship to the Father and Son is to glorify. Both the Spirit and the Son are witnesses to the Father, and the Spirit in interpreting the Father also interprets the Son, because they hold all things in common.
For us today we have the reassurance that the power of the Father and the Son are present with us through the Spirit. And it is through the Spirit that we have the guidance we need to live a victorious Christ like life.
We can boldly proclaim “Victory in Jesus.”