As a teacher, the best moments come when I see in the eyes and face of the learner a sudden light that means, “I’ve got it! I see it now! I know how all the pieces fit!”
During His three years of public teaching, Jesus was handing out some new and puzzling thoughts. There had to have been many times when His disciples were struggling to understand and put all the pieces together.
And then, too soon, Jesus told them He was “going away.” But, He said,
“If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth” (John 14:15-17).
I can imagine the disappointment the disciples must have felt, as though they were being set adrift. They had left their old, everyday lives behind. They had ridden the ebb and flow of the tide of Jesus’ popularity—but now Jesus was leaving and they were left stranded. I would have been devastated.
No, Jesus assured them. I will always be in you. I will never leave you. My Spirit will come and live in you and continue to teach you and guide you. He will remind you of everything I’ve said, and He’ll lead you to truth.
In the middle of all the disciples’ grief and confusion about what was happening, Jesus told them at least four times that evening that He was not leaving them stranded…the Holy Spirit was going to continue teaching and guiding them. This was not the end. He would be coming back to them in a different way.
This is the Spirit that is poured out generously (Titus 3:6) on every child of God to this very day.
Today, let’s keep this uppermost in our minds as we go about our day: Jesus Christ is alive on this earth. He lives with us. Just as He lived with His disciples in Galilee and taught them every day, He is constantly with us, teaching, reminding, encouraging, and leading to the truth.
When we believe this hope, it changes all of life.
Because we know that now we walk, literally, with Christ—just as surely as Peter, James, and John walked and talked with Him.
And He is continuing our training to be His disciples, teaching, molding our thinking, showing us truth.
There are countless ways He works every day—
Sometimes, there’s a nudge to do something you would never have thought of before or to speak to someone you might have passed by.
You’ve been puzzling over an issue, and a new insight comes.
Or you’re given a quiet assurance when you need it.
Or someone else shares what they’ve learned, and the Spirit says, Yes, that’s right. Pay attention to this.
Or you read a passage of Scripture and there’s a verse that you’ve never noticed before—and it is exactly what you need for today! It is, literally, God’s Word for you at that very moment.
I’m guessing you can add many more examples of how the Spirit teaches you.
The Spirit of Christ is constantly shaping us, helping us along the way, sharpening our sights, showing us the invisible.
I like to think of Jesus, patiently showing me the truth, teaching me the things I need to learn. Every day. We aren’t by the Sea of Galilee or on the road to Jerusalem. We’re taking a walk in the sunshine. We’re driving down Route 39. We’re preparing for an interview for a story. We’re relaxing by the fire. We’re talking with my Bible Read-Thru group or my friends or my sisters or a complete stranger. Oh, yes, and sometimes we do sit on the rocks and gaze at the sea.
Some things take me awhile. But when I finally “get” whatever He’s teaching me, in my imagination, I can see the smile of my Teacher.
But as for me, I will sing about your power.
Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love.
© Elaine Starner 2015
Photo credits: Thanks to Claire Pridgeon, Paul Stutzman, and Lana Turner for sharing photography I’ve used on this site. (Click on each name to see more.)