The disciples of Jesus grieved. Even though there were so many things Jesus had to tell them, they could not receive them. In John 16:5-15, Jesus explains to them about what can happen with His going away, how the Spirit will work in the world and how the Spirit will work with them as Christ’s followers.
His Going Away
When He spoke to them of His going away, He understood their grief. He needed to get them to look beyond it. Here, in His presence, they couldn’t even formulate the question, “Where are you going?” So, Jesus says, “I am returning to He who sent Me. I know it brings you sorrow, but I must go. I have to go so I can send you the helper.”
The Spirit Works in the World
Jesus goes on to tell them that the Spirit will convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgement. And yes, the Spirit is indeed at work in the world as we in our day, witness His power to draw people out of the world into His kingdom, to convict us when we miss the mark, to show us in His absence, about righteousness, and to remind us that the ruler of this world has been judged.
The Spirit’s Work in Christ’s Followers
Still, beyond this powerful work in the world, the Spirit of God will work in the lives of Jesus’ followers. He will, first of all, as Jesus did, follow the Father’s instructions. He will guide them into “all truth”, “He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears, He will speak.” He will also show them things to come as in the case of Agabus in Acts 11. On this occasion, the Holy Spirit gave Agabus knowledge of a coming famine. As a result, the new church, sent aid. Then, above all, He glorifies Jesus. All the words of Jesus, He will declare to His followers.
So many unanswered questions, so many unknowns, but Jesus didn’t come just for this small group of 11 men, who through the power of the Helper would give all for Him. His work required returning to the Father and releasing the Holy Spirit. Jesus explained to them about what can happen with His going away, how the Spirit will work in the world and how the Spirit will work with them as Christ’s followers.