This passage is the last conversation that Jesus had with his disciples while on earth. He is telling them that they are essentially taking his place as he is leaving to go to his Father. This passage is timeless. . . he was not only talking to his disciples at that time and place; he is also talking to us, in this time and place.
Jesus was preparing the disciples for what was to come; his death, burial and resurrection. He was providing comfort before they even knew they would need it and did so by giving them several promises:
1. The presence of the Holy Spirit. In the absence of a physical Jesus on earth, God was providing the gift of the Holy Spirit, sometimes called a Comforter, to provide a sense of peace as well as empowerment to perform God’s work. It would be God’s presence in and through their lives.
2. They would receive clarity. Up to this time, Jesus had been teaching them through parables and illustrations, most of which they did not thoroughly understand. From now on, however, they would have direct teachings and clarification through the Holy Spirit. They would have clarity of vision and a confidence that would create a whole new way of being in the world.
3. They had direct access to God through Jesus. Because they loved Jesus and believed that he was the Son of God, they were connected to God in an entirely new way. They could ask anything of God and know that they had been heard. He identified the Father as a generous benefactor and, as a result of this new relationship, their lives would be full of joy, even in the midst of difficult times.
We, as disciples or followers of Christ, also claim these promises. As a result, a new world opens up to us. We have a sense of God’s presence in our daily lives. The love that we experience in our relationship with God is mirrored in our hearts and reflected in our lives. We have clarity of vision as to our purpose and mission. We have direct access to God because we love Jesus and believe that he came from God. With this direct access, we can ask anything with the confidence that we are loved by God and are accompanied by God throughout our days. What a wonderful parting gift Jesus gave to us. . . one that will bring comfort, peace and empowerment as we are His presence in the world.
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