By: Pastor Travis Stockelman
Did you have a favorite teacher growing up? I know that I did.
When I was in my junior and senior years at Eastwood Christian School, I had a history teacher named Ms. Debbie. Everyone loved to have her for history class because she made learning history easy. The same can be said for the Bible class that she taught every morning. It just seemed like Ms. Debbie had a knack for making it easy to learn a subject.
In this passage, Jesus is preparing to leave His disciples. For over three years, Jesus had been the exclusive teacher of the disciples.
During this time, He had taught them the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. Now, He was planning to leave them, and thus end His role as their Teacher. I wonder what the disciples felt. Were they worried? Were they nervous about losing the only Rabbi they had ever known? Were they sad that He was about to leave them?
Whatever they were feeling, they were definitely confused (John 16:17-18). Their Teacher was about to leave them, and they had no idea how to take this news. Jesus was clearly foretelling His death, resurrection, and ascension, but the disciples did not pick up on that.
Jesus told His disciples, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now” (v. 12). Jesus wanted to continue to teach His disciples, but He knew that they were not ready for what He wanted to teach. Yet Jesus was about to leave His disciples.
How, then, were the disciples to learn what Jesus wanted to teach them? Jesus had a solution. He leaves His disciples with a promise. He promises that “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” (v. 13). In other words, Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit will come and teach His followers what He wants to teach us.
Now don’t misunderstand me. The Holy Spirit is not simply a divine Substitute Teacher. No, the Holy Spirit was, and is, THE Teacher of Jesus’s disciples. He is the One that guides us into all truth.
This does not mean that He will teach us everything about, say, biology, or physics. Rather, He teaches us what Christ wants us to know, and the most important thing that Christ teaches us is how to be reconciled with the Father and how to live in relationship with Him.
Today, if you want to grow closer in your walk with the Father, then let the Holy Spirit teach you and guide you. Yield your heart and life to Him, and He will teach you, just as Jesus promised.