The Most Holy Trinity
Trinity Year C
John 16: 12 to 15.
Some Notes On Our Text
When Jesus declares in verse 12 “I have much more to say to you”, he is developing an exciting idea in the minds of his hearers. He is saying, in effect, that no difference can be made between things he has taught orally, and those taught later by the Holy Spirit.
Then in Verse 13 he returns to his theme begun in verse 26: “when the Spirit will not merely teach but guide you into the truth so that you see it from within and not as an onlooker.
In the same verse (13) Jesus gives us a beautiful picture of the inner workings of the Holy Trinity. “The Spirit will speak only what he hears. Therefore, because he proceeds from the source of all truth, the Father, he can guide you into all truth”. These words give the disciples present, and future generations of believers great confidence that they would be safe from deviation provided they too remained ever listening to the Word from the Father. Those who seek the truth can rest assured that they will be lead into a full apprehension of the Truth. Thus we can say, the Christian revelation is not a passive reception of understanding. Our spiritual understanding will depend also on our zeal, searching, effort, commitment, application, listening, attention and (take note) the priority we give to God’s message.
When we go to read verse 14, we may get the impression that Jesus’ revelation of God’s love was incomplete, or imperfect, which the Holy Spirit would supplement. This is not so. The revelation of Jesus is a full and perfect revelation, but it is imperfectly received. Thus the Holy Spirit illumines the heart to bring home to it the things of Jesus Christ. Thus the Spirit does not so much bring new knowledge as the POWER of Jesus’ word, which is ever new in the process of confronting fresh ranges of hearers.
Our reading closes with Jesus reminding us yet again of the most amazing heritage into which we are born again, if we would but listen to what he is saying, take it to heart in silent wonder, and let it rule in our lives.
It is in the Spirit of these promises recorded in St. John’s Gospel that we have followed the last dozen to fifteen weeks. We hope that you will continue to meditate on the Word — the Word within the words — and be greatly blessed in his service. In our day, as in ancient times, God pleads for his people to keep their attention fixed firmly upon him:
“Israel, if you would but listen to me! (Ps 81: 8).
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