Jesus knows we can’t do life alone. It’s so clear in these verses from John 14, that he knew his disciples were still pretty clueless about what lay ahead for him and them. Life was not going to get any easier.
That’s why they needed the Holy Spirit.
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.*
The Holy Spirit serves as our advocate, standing up for us before God. When we put our trust in Christ, he places his Spirit in our lives, never to leave or forsake us. He is the down payment or guarantee of our salvation.
The world, however, Jesus says, cannot accept him.
Why is the Spirit unacceptable to the world? Because they can’t see him. Remember the conversation Jesus had with the Pharisee Nicodemus?* It was under the cover of darkness, because this highly intelligent Jewish leader was afraid of what people might say if they saw him talking to the rebel rabbi.
Jesus described the work of the Spirit like the wind. It’s obviously there, but you can’t see it. You can feel it or hear it, but are not sure where it comes from or where it’s going. For those who deny the presence of God in this world and who deny the work of Jesus on the cross, the Spirit is meaningless.
They may get a sense of him when they hear Scripture read, are around a group of Christians, or experiencing nature in a wondrous way, but they can’t grasp or accept the fact that he is real and an important part of the Holy Trinity in whose nature we’re allowed to share through Christ.
Why should they believe something they can’t see? Unacceptable!
But we know him. We, who have put our trust in Christ and accepted his saving work on the cross. The Holy Spirit is perfectly acceptable to us, because he lives in us. His presence is fully known in our heart and minds.
Because of that, we are never alone, never orphans. The world may abandon us, persecute us, drive us to the wilderness and leave us, but God will not, because his Spirit is with us always.
Have you accepted the one who is unacceptable to the world? May he fill you more and more with the overwhelming knowledge of his presence in your life. Alone no more! Alive in Him.
Grace and peace
John 14:16-18 (NIV)