16,17 "And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you."
John 14:16,17 (ESV)
That moment when Jesus announced He was leaving must have been heartbreaking and confusing for His small band of disciples. It’s obvious they didn’t grasp the whole “suffering servant” motif so prominent in the Old Testament.
Even when Jesus spoke plainly about His death, they protested as if they could derail the redemptive will of God. We would have done the same.
Among the living, death is the end, a brutal interruption to relationship. The twelve couldn’t imagine any good coming from the loss of their Lord. They had grown accustomed to hearing the voice of God in the flesh, and the thought of that voice being silenced was repulsive.
Knowing their deep distress, Jesus left His followers with timeless words of great assurance. He spoke of One who would fill the void of His absence, and continue to speak words of grace and truth.
“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:16,17).
Those words are meant to assure you as well. If you are a Christ-follower, you are indwelt by God’s Spirit, a Helper no less real or benevolent than Father or Son. And one of His most notable attributes is His voice.
“When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the 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. He will glorify Me, for He will take what is Mine and declare it to you” (John 16:13,14).
If God seems silent at the moment, let me encourage you to prayerfully sit down with God’s written Word (the Bible), read about the Living Word (Jesus) in the Gospels, pray that the Spirit of truth would guide you to grasp God’s Word … and then “listen.”
Take the time to write down thoughts, impressions and questions. Tomorrow, we’ll talk about what to do with what you write. But for now, thank the Holy Spirit for His faithful presence and gracious guidance, without which you would truly live in spiritual silence.