10/21/W – For Your Benefit

2 Samuel 12:15-31; John 16:1-16; Psalms 119:65-72; Proverbs 25:28

NT: “But now I am going away to him who sent me, and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Yet, because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth. It is for your benefit that I go away, because if I don’t go away the Counselor will not come to you. If I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: About sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; and about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. For he will not speak on his own, but he will speak whatever he hears. He will also declare to you what is to come. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.” (‭‭John‬ ‭16:5-14‬ ‭CSB)

The remaining eleven disciples were understandably sorrowful as Jesus talked about His impending death. The master that they had devoted three years of their lives to… the person that they hung all of their hopes on… the man that they gave up everything to follow was going to be gone. Jesus was attempting to comfort them and encourage them… but I imagine that the disappointment and pain was too great to fully hear and accept what Jesus was saying. So Jesus once again said, “despite what you are feeling – and despite your inability to see beyond your current sadness, I am telling you the truth: My going away is only going to benefit you…. It is for your good.” God’s destiny for humanity goes far beyond salvation and deliverance. The Jewish people expected the Messiah to save them and deliver them from their oppressors… and the Messiah couldn’t do that if He was dead and gone. But God’s plan was far greater. Jesus was going to save them from their sin and deliver them from bondage to the devil… and then He was going to make a way for the very life of God to fill all those who believed in Him. For centuries, God had been telling he people through the prophets that He was going to give His people new hearts of flesh that would be able to fully obey His word, will, and ways. God’s desire was to turn mere humans into “super humans,” who were filled with the very Spirit of God… and for the Father to do that, Jesus had to go away. Once Jesus went away and the Spirit of God came, everything would change. With the Spirit poured out on all flesh, the Spirit would convict people of sin, righteousness, and judgement. With the Spirit poured out on all flesh, the unlimited Spirit would be the one who would lead people into all truth. Jesus, though He is the Son of God, limited Himself to the confines of human flesh. Jesus, as a man, is not omnipresent. He could only minister to and teach a few people at a time. The Holy Spirit, however, is unlimited – and can fill people everywhere and can be convicting and teaching people in Nashville, Tennessee at the same time He is convicting and teaching people in Baghdad, Iraq. For God to reach the entire world with the good news of His kingdom, Jesus had to return to the Father so that the Spirit could come. Because Jesus went away, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father interceding for us… all who have believed in Him over the millennia have benefited.

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