“When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning.” (John 15:26 – 27)
After a slow start, I have all sorts of images & ideas whirling in my head.
- You have to see a thing before you can describe and give an explanation of it.
- But, blessed are those who have not seen, but still believe.
- Paul did not see Jesus but testified anyway.
- Knowledge needs to come before testifying.
- The “Father” testified by sending Jesus in a way that fulfilled may prophecies and foreshadowing.
- The writer of the gospel of John very much wanted Jesus to be seen as the prophesied mystical Messiah
“I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment:
about sin, because they do not believe in me;
about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer;
about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.” (Chapter 16, verses 4b – 11)
It is useful to remember that Jesus is saying these things to the disciples BEFORE the Advocate, the Spirit of Truth came. Saying if afterwards would not have been needed, because they would have already understand. But saying it before, Jesus is preparing his disciple to receive the Spirit who comes; and perhaps to comfort them because he will be leaving them. Although, as Jesus pointed out, they did not ask about his leaving. It reminds me of children going through separation anxiety (if you pardon the slightly demeaning metaphor). Children upset for this reason rarely ask where they parent/parents are going because that is less important then the fact they are leaving! Rarely, though, will a parent say “it is good for you that I leave because the babysitter will be good for you.”
I do not want to say much about the three proofs that Jesus talks about. The sin – is non-belief as sin? Righteousness – that one I had to look up; Jesus’ righteousness is proven by the fact that Jesus will be raised from the dead, and given the Divine’s “seal of approval”. Judgment – more aptly understood, the priorities of the fallen physical world have not place in the Kingdom of God/Heaven.
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot 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 will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” (Verses 12 – 15)
It is these last few verses where the writer of the gospel of John and I part company . . . maybe. First, I am not convinced the Spirit of Truth is male. Not saying absolutely it is female; maybe more gender-less. But kind of leaning toward female. Second, I believe the Spirit of Truth is the/a Spiritual Aspect of the Divine. So the “not speaking on the Spirit’s own behalf” is not something I can put faith in. Along with that, I believe the Spirit has Its own glory.
I say what I believe, think, and feel because that is my way of testifying. I think, beloved reader, we should all try and strive to live a life that testifies to the Divine. Shalom & Selah!