I have to imagine that he was choosing his words very carefully. This was Jesus’ “final shot” at teaching his disciples, reminding them of the things he wanted them to remember always.
He wanted them to know that although he would be leaving, he would return. He told them that he was returning to his Father, and that while he was there, he would be preparing places where the disciples would one day join him.
He assured them that he would listen to their prayers, and that great things would be done by them.
He promised them that he was not leaving them alone. No, he would send his Holy Spirit to live with them, to be their counselor and advisor, and to bring them confidence, joy and peace — whatever life might throw at them!
Jesus saved some of his most challenging and comforting words for that last meeting with his disciples. And those words are words we still need to hear today.
Jesus will return. That’s not guesswork or conjecture. It’s a certain promise from the Son of God himself.
Jesus hears our prayers. And he wants us to be confident and courageous knowing that we always have the ability to connect with him through prayer. We matter to him.
Jesus gives us his Spirit as we listen to the gospel and as we celebrate the sacraments. And the Holy Spirit continues to bring us confidence, joy and peace when life throws the kitchen sink at us.
Others may not be able accept this to be true. But the ones who have experienced this peace, this joy, this confidence in the face of adversity?
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you” (John 14:16-20, NIV).
Our Bible reading for Sunday, May 24, is 1 Samuel 14:24 – 15:35, John 14:1-31 and Proverbs 12:28 – 13:9.