SCRIPTURE: John 14:15-17
The Promise of the Holy Spirit
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 17 This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
There are some theologians who argue that Jesus’ words are meant to be to the individual, that if each of us, individually, love Jesus we will keep his commandments, and Jesus will ask God to send the Holy Spirit to always be with us in our lives. However, there are also some theologians who make the claim that Jesus is actually directing these words to the church. That is the church genuinely loves Jesus, the church will follow his commandments, etc. And when I write “church” I do not mean a building or specific faith community or denomination, but rather the church as the entire body of Christ.
While I have not had the opportunity to fully investigate the entirety of either of these views, I will say that just based on my faith, I feel like they could both be correct. I see how both the individual and the church would not only benefit from these words but also, they are both relevant audiences. Everything Jesus says here can apply to both the individual AND the church, I do not believe it needs to be an either-or situation. Hopefully, both the individual and the church finds words of hope and inspiration to connect them further with God and the ministry we are called to in this world.
In what ways have you felt the Spirit “abide with you” and “be in you”? Are you actively trying to listen for the Spirit, and if so, in what ways are you doing so?
Loving God, you first sent your Son, Jesus Christ, for the salvation of the world. You then sent your Holy Spirit to stay with us, helping us to grow in love and knowledge of you. Through the Holy Spirit, may we filled with your love and grace and share them with all creation. Amen.