Read John 16:4b-15
After giving his reasons in verses 1-4a for telling the disciples “all this,” Jesus then tells them why he didn’t tell them this at first — there was no need for them to know these things while he was with them. But now he reminds them that he must return to the Father and he sees that their grief is profound. In verse 7, how does Jesus respond to their grief? How would the presence of the Spirit be even better for the disciples than Jesus’ physical presence with them?
Jesus has already said many things about the role the Holy Spirit will play after he leaves. What more do we learn about the Spirit from verses 8-11? It may be difficult to understand unbelief as sin. Why do you think Jesus describes it this way? Theologians have varied interpretations of verses 10 and 11, but one thing is clear: the Holy Spirit comes to convict unbelievers. This is part of his role as one who testifies about Jesus (Jn 15:26). Knowing this, how can you partner with the Holy Spirit as you share your faith with others?
In verse 12, Jesus tells the disciples he has much more he could say to them on this important night. What keeps him from disclosing more? How will truth be revealed to them in the future? Notice how gentle Jesus is with them – he pays attention to and cares about how much they can bear. And he reiterates his promise to send the Holy Spirit to them. What comes to your mind when you hear that the Spirit will be their guide? In what areas of your life right now do you need a guide?
In verses 13-15, Jesus expands his description of the Spirit. What characterizes the third person of the Trinity? Just as the Spirit’s role in relation to the world is to testify about Jesus (Jn 15:26) and convict the world of their unbelief (Jn 16:8), the Spirit’s role in the lives of the disciples is to fully reveal to them who Jesus is. How intimately do you know Jesus? Do you know his love for you? Do you know his purposes for your life? How does God’s Spirit reveal Jesus to you?
Ask God to reveal areas of your life where you need the Spirit to guide you into knowing Jesus, the Truth, more intimately.