Have you ever been to the school counselor? Most of us wouldn’t admit it if we had. After all, it usually meant there was something wrong with you or you were making trouble. Things have changed a bit now, as seeing a counselor is considered important for good health.
I’m thankful Jesus saw the need of a counselor for those first disciples, because I need one too. After all he’d shared in this one chapter of John, I can imagine their heads were spinning. Not only had they been told they were to remain in the Vine, but they were to love their friends to the point of death. Even if they did manage to produce fruit, the world was going to hate them for it.
I think a counselor was called for.
That’s why Jesus said: “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.”*
He knew they couldn’t handle the task without help. Only with the power of the Holy Spirit indwelling in us, are we able to comprehend and live by the words of Christ. Remember who Jesus was talking to? Some fishermen, a tax collector, common guys and zealots.
Who’s he talking to now?
I love what my pastor recently said about the importance of the Holy Spirit in his life. “Without the Holy Spirit, I’m a coward,” he said.
Wow, what a confession. What truth. I’m right there with him, as I know the disciples are. Remember, they were the ones who fled after Jesus’ arrest; yet, at Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came, they were the same ones who preached in multiple languages, stood up to the religious leaders, and rejoiced when flogged for his sake.
That’s some Counselor!
The Holy Spirit would remind them of what Jesus had taught them so that they could then tell others. That’s his job for us too.
But there’s one more verse I want to include to conclude this series on Vine Life. It’s actually found in the next chapter:
“All this I have told you so that you will not go astray.”*
The “all this” is the teaching of the two previous chapters — beautiful teaching, hard teaching, and teaching that would require extra power to live by. Why has he taken the time to pour all this wisdom into the disciples, into us?
So we won’t go astray.
When we memorize and meditate on the word of Christ, we can stand firm for him in a world that is turned upside down.
Grace and Peace
*John 15:26-27 (NIV)