“He will take from what is mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:14)
These are among Jesus’ last words to the disciples before his arrest and execution. Jesus is explaining the importance of the Holy Spirit to them, and that the Holy Spirit cannot come to them until he leaves and returns to the Father. He goes on to explain, “Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he [the Holy Spirit] will take from what is mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:15)
This is amazing! Everything that is God’s is Jesus’s – God’s wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge and reverence (Isaiah 11:2); and everything that is Jesus’s the Holy Spirit will declare to us and make available to us!
We will recall that after Jesus’ resurrection, he instructed the disciples not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, that “In a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” and “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.” (Acts 1:4-5, 8)
So, God, the creator of all that exists, becomes one of us in the person of Jesus. All that God is resides in Jesus, and Jesus says all that he is and has will become available to us through the Holy Spirit.
Let me share a story that I may have related before, but may help illustrate how the Holy Spirit working through us can impact a situation. One day a number of years ago, Ann, a young woman who was a word processor in our legal department came to see me at the urging of my secretary. She was a couple of years out of high school, had become pregnant, and the prospective father refused to take any responsibility. She had little family or support in the area, didn’t think she could be a mother and was thinking about having an abortion.
I don’t remember all that was said, but we talked for a long time about how she was carrying a real person inside her and how God had already given that little person a soul and an identity. We talked, she cried, and we prayed. I remember praying with her that God would show her love and give her wisdom and courage. I didn’t tell her what to do. A few weeks later, she decided to have the baby and then decided to raise the baby herself as a single mother.
Our paths didn’t seem to cross much after that for many years until she came up to greet me at a reception for my retirement. She asked if I remembered our conversation and reported that her son was now sixteen years old. Over the course of my last week of work, I was the beneficiary of many kind words, courtesies and gifts, but the greatest honor and gift was to be reminded of that conversation and hear about Ann’s son.
While I may have not realized it at the time, the Holy Spirit was working through me to bring God’s love and support to Ann. Several gifts of the Holy Spirit were in play – wisdom, knowledge, courage, faith, prophesy and love. I wasn’t thinking about them. They were just present to Ann through me and the action of the Holy Spirit. As a result, one life was changed – Ann’s – and another life was allowed to live – her son’s.
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)