As parents, how many of us have uttered the phrase to one of our kids, “it’s for your own good!”. With 3 teenagers in the house, more than once I have heard the complaint that a particular subject matter that one of them is about to be tested on is a complete waste of their precious time. “Why do I need to learn the birth date of various authors?” or “why do I need to memorize this poem from the 1700s?” While I tend to agree with the core of their complaint, I have tried to stress the benefits of memorizing and hard work, even if it is for something that more than likely they will never need again. After all, “it’s for your own good!”
Our reading today brings us to John 16 in which we read a very surprising statement by Jesus Christ. In verse 7 we read, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” Did you catch what Jesus said there? “It is expedient for you that I go away.” That word expedient means that it was for the disciples benefit, or their own good, that Jesus was about to return to heaven. Why? Because when Jesus left the scene, the Comforter, or the Holy Spirit, was promised to be sent to the believers.
Now imagine someone asking if you would rather be able to rub shoulders with Jesus and see first-hand His earthly ministry, or have the indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit, which one would you chose? If you are like me then you would pretty quickly chose option A. To be able to talk with Jesus and see His miracles first hand? Sign me up! No, Jesus said that we are better off with the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We are better off with the conviction, the comfort, the guidance and the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives than to physically walk around with Jesus. Now the question is, how often do we take that ministry for granted? How often do we pray for the Spirit’s power and guidance in our lives or do we instead try to live this life in our own power. Let’s take advantage of the wonderful ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives!