The Spirit of Truth

A reading for Friday, May 2, 2014: John 16:1-15.

Being a follower of Jesus was hard in the first century. It was hard to know where to be, who your friends were, and what to seek as truth.

The early church tried to stay connected to the synagogue. Jesus was a Jew, and salvation was offered through Jewish heritage and roots, so it made sense to stay within Judaism. Soon, however, the synagogue took a hard stand against Christians, even killing them in the name of faithfulness. So "the way" as early follower of Jesus were called could not remain in Judaism.

But Jesus was not with them anymore either. The leader of their faith, the one who had preached and taught and healed with so much power and grace was gone, crucified on a Roman cross. They believed, as we do, that Jesus was raised. Still nobody else had such ability to lead them. What would they do now?

The good news is that Jesus promised an advocate, the Holy Spirit, that would come and be with them. The Spirit would reveal truth as it comes from Jesus and from the Father. The advocate would remain with them as the source of their strength, wisdom, grace and power. The Spirit would sustain the church, from the first century right up until today.

Truth is being a follower of Jesus is hard today too. Like in the first century, it's hard to know where to be, who your friends are, and where to seek truth. There are lots of folks who claim faithfulness, and who do things in the name of "offering worship to God." But sometimes we just aren't sure whether what they do is truth, or culture, or fear, or something else. What do we do now?

The advocate is still our advantage. The Spirit is still where to seek our truth. Jesus sent the advocate not to testify for his own sake, but to proclaim the truth according to Christ. The Spirit is present when we read holy scripture, when we pray, when we gather for worship, or even come to the aid of another. We trust in the Spirit to lead us and guide us especially when things get hard or scary. Jesus said, "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth."

May you be blessed this day as you follow Christ Jesus with a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the source of truth and our Advocate of faith. To God be the glory!


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