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Why Jesus Left

Jesus tells his disciples he is going away, but he will send the Holy Spirit to fill them and guide them into truth. We often imagine our walk would be better if Jesus was here physically with us on earth, but Jesus says it is otherwise.

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Why Jesus Left

Good Morning. This Morning’s Gospel text is from the same chapter we read from in John last week, John 16, and it does make a nice Part II to what we read. So, let’s review a couple of things from last week.

1. It comes from a part of the Gospel of John I figuratively called Jesus Valedictorian Speech, usually called the Farewell Address, where he gives some last directions to his disciples before he went to the cross.

2. Our theme last week was that the disciples would soon face persecution and suffering in this world. He then compared this pain and suffering to a woman in labor, and that when the child is finally born, she forgets the pain of the past because of the joy of the present.

This week, we continue the theme of Jesus preparing his disciples so that they will not fall away when he leaves. And that is the startling part, he not only tells them that He’s going away, but tells them that this is for their good. Jesus says in verse 7:

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.

Why is it better that Jesus is no longer physically with us? I would think lots of people, despite what Jesus says in our Gospel lesson, imagine it would be much easier being able to follow Jesus if Jesus was tagging along with us. Having Him as your daily mentor. Being able to sit down and have a long talk with him.

But we have Jesus’ word on it, and the lives of the disciples.

Their lives were changed not as much by walking around with Jesus for three and a half years, but by the Holy Spirit.

What would have been the drawbacks of living with Jesus? Jesus sometimes went away. He took time alone to pray. He needed to sleep. If you were in Galilee and he was in Judea, you’d have to wait until he came back again, or you would have to go find him. There were times that Jesus just wasn’t handy when you needed him because he was just as fully human as any of us.

This morning, I want to look with you at two of the many truths (lot more than 2) Jesus teaches about the Helper He sent us, and why these truths matter to us today.

First Truth: The Holy Spirit Dwells Inside Believers

Second Truth: The Holy Spirit Leads You Into Truth

The first truth, First Truth: The Holy Spirit Dwells Inside Believers. God’s plan has always been to dwell with his people. When God put Adam and Eve in the Garden, Scripture tells us he frequently would walk and talk with them. When God called Israel out of Egypt, he commanded them to build a tabernacle so that he could spiritually be with them through the desert wilderness. Spiritual = Real. In fact, keep that image in mind, because that’s a great image for what the Holy Spirit does with us.

Since Christ has ascended into heaven, through the Spirit, God has taken up residence within us, within those of us who are disciples of Jesus, born again, born from above, and he promises to be with us always.

God has made us into His temple, his tabernacle. That is why Paul calls our bodies a temple of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, God is more available to every believer than God the Son was when he walked this earth, who again, was limited. If you’re a follower of Jesus, he’s given you a new life. If you are not yet a follower, it is as easy as repenting from your sins and asking him into your heart and following his Word.

So, First Truth: The Holy Spirit Dwells Inside Believers

Second Truth: The Holy Spirit Leads You Into Truth

Here’s the tough but fun one. Look at what Jesus says this morning.

When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 

The spirit calls to remembrance the things we learn from God’s word, and Guides us in God’s word, which is why it is so important to be in God’s Word and to put on our armor to protect us from the lies of the enemy. Satan has one main tactic he uses: lies. He is not creative, in fact, he can’t create, he can only warp.

Tolkien is famous for saying that Evil can’t create, it only destroys, it’s one of the themes in his writings.

The devil can only try to steal from God and claim them as his. The rainbow is a great example. Ask yourself why one of the first symbols God gave us to show his covenant faithfulness was chosen to be such a main symbol of deviancy and sin? It’s absolutely intentional.

But the rainbow is God’s not the devil’s no matter how much he wants to steal it. Think for a second about how so much of Sin is taking a good thing that God gave, and perverting it’s use. Adultery, Gluttony, Jealousy. Just twisted versions of something which is good.

That is also why TRUTH is so important. Just simple Truth! And that’s why the world hates the truth, and tries to get rid of truth.

One of the greatest dangers to us today is feelism. Feelism is trying to determine the truth by asking, “How does it make you feel?” Not asking “What do you think?” but “What do you feel about it?”

“How do you feel about the church’s teaching on same-sex marriage?” as if whether or not something is right depends on my feelings. It uses our feelings and intuitions to make moral judgments about the world. Do you feel like a woman? Then you are. (XY) Do you feel offended by what Pastor Mike just said? Then he’s guilty, whether he knows he offended you or not. Hold him accountable! Now, people truly feel emotions, that’s the sneaky thing. But feelings just aren’t truth.

I feel I love that woman, so I should leave my wife. I am following love, right? No, I’m not. That’s Lust. Love isn’t just emotional, it’s action. Love takes effort, work, and it even involves keeping oaths you make.

Thank God for his Spirit. Here’s what the Spirit does. He guides us into all truth. Jesus doesn’t mean that we will get NEW truths that we will subjectively feel, that will suddenly go against the old truths that we find in God’s Word or overwrite them.

You see this in false prophets and their writings like the Quran or the Book of Mormon which go against God’s Word. And where do they start? Usually with the prophet being allowed to commit Polygamy. Mohammed had 11, including a 6-year-old that he married at age 53. or Joseph Smith, the leader of the Mormon Cult, had 40 wives, because God gave him a new truth. All of this goes directly against what Jesus is saying that God’s Spirit will lead us into the truth of what’s revealed.

Paul says in 2 Timothy 3: All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. The Spirit takes us deeper and deeper into this book.

We grow as he opens the WORD to us. We learn more and more about what God is like, because we see and understand Him better.

God begins by revealing to us our sin. If you’ve been convinced of your sin, it may look ugly, but that’s a gift from the Holy Spirit, that it looks ugly rather than nice. It doesn’t always feel like a gift, but it is.

And then he draws us to Jesus. He shows us the truth of our Savior and causes us to put our faith in God.

Let’s pray for ears to hear the words of the Holy Spirit, for hearts filled with His love, joy, and peace and for a body that will be obedient to all His leadings.

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