“But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you” John 16:7
Jesus knew the importance of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believers when He told His disciples that it’s better that He is going away. At that moment, the disciples were saddened by what Jesus told them because He was going to the Father, but they wanted Him to stay and be with them.
Why did they want Jesus to stay with them? You must understand that for about three and half years the disciples were with Him when He was healing the sick, casting our demons, and doing many miracles. They saw the very Son of God, walking and talking with them. They were privileged to listen to the voice of God, as He was teaching them many wonderful things about the kingdom of God. They saw the glory of the mountain and had an extraordinary experience. They felt secured, hopeful, and joyful with Jesus, but now they were saddened because He is about to leave them to go to His Father. They must be thinking in their mind who is going to bring such hope if He’s going away? Who’s going to heal the sick? Who is going to deliver those who are oppressed by the devil? Who is going to proclaim the very words of God to the people? When they were in such perplexity, Jesus tells them about the importance of the Holy Spirit.
Why would Jesus, who is so influential and important decide to go to the Father and leave His disciples? What is it about the Holy Spirit that Jesus says it’s better that He is going away?
You see, the disciples knew about Jesus, they saw what Jesus did, they heard what He said, but they did not know the Holy Spirit. Although the Holy Sprit was with them doing the miracles by Christ Jesus, they were only aware of Jesus.
They did not know that it was the Holy Sprit that worked in Jesus.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind” Luke 4:18
It was the Spirit that anointed Jesus for His earthly ministry. Although Jesus is the Son of God, He was dependent upon the Holy Sprit while on earth because He is truly man, as He is truly God. Therefore, in His humanity He was dependent upon the Holy Sprit for everything.
In Matthew 4:1 we see that Jesus is led by the Holy Sprit to go into the wilderness.
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” Matthew 4:1
Although Jesus had a will separate from the will of the Father, yet He submitted His will to obey the will of the Sprit of God.
From His birth to His resurrection Jesus was dependent upon the Holy Spirit. Jesus was made flesh by the Holy Sprit (Luke 1:35). He was baptized with the Holy Sprit (Luke 3:22). He was filled with the Holy Sprit (Luke 4:1). The power of the Holy Spirit was with Him (Luke 4:14). He performed miracles by the Spirit of God (Matthew 12:28), and He was raised from the dead by the Sprit of God (Romans 8:11).
This shows you that while Jesus was on earth, He was dependent on the Holy Sprit to do the work that the Father had send Him to do. If Jesus was dependent upon the Holy Sprit, how much more should we be dependent upon Him?
You see, this is what Jesus wanted to show them. It isn’t that Jesus was unable to the job of the Holy Sprit. The reason Jesus said that it was better for Him to go away was because He wanted to introduce the Holy Sprit to His disciples. He wanted them to know the work of the Sprit in the plan of Salvation.
Without the Spirit it is impossible to know the the Son, and without the Son it’s impossible to get to the Father. The disciples thought that they knew Jesus, but Jesus knew that they needed the Holy Sprit to understand and know Jesus.
In what manner is it better for Jesus to go away? The disciples will know Him more when the Sprit comes than when they were with Him without the Holy Sprit, because it’s the Spirit that reveals Jesus.
The coming of the Holy Sprit does not change their focus. It does not cause them to look somewhere else apart from Jesus. If anything, the coming of the Sprit will cause them to see Jesus even more clearly than they had ever seen or known Him.
In the same manner, without the Holy Spirit we cannot come to Jesus Christ and be saved. Without the Holy Spirit, we cannot believe, we cannot live the Christian life, and when Christ comes back we cannot be resurrected or be raptured to be with Him forever. The Sprit is the seal of our redemption, and the very proof of our salvation. To separate the Holy Spirit from the work of Salvation is to have no salvation at all.
Therefore, we need the Spirit of God everyday to live the Christian life. Our everyday prayer should be as Paul prayed to the Ephesians:
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:14-19)
When we know how much we need the Holy Spirit, our daily prayer will be to have more of the Spirit and less of ourselves.