Jesus warned the disciples of the severe persecution that they would encounter and that He would soon be leaving them. Jesus told His disciples that it was better for them that He left. The disciples, however, found that hard to believe. Jesus tried to explain that, if He were to stay, then the Helper (the Holy Spirit) would not come. In sending the Holy Spirit, Jesus was not only thinking of the disciples but of us. Because God became man In Jesus Christ, He could only be in one place at a time. Therefore, the only people that could have a relationship with Him were the people that were able to be in His presence. The Holy Spirit, however, dwells in every believer. Because of the Holy Spirit, we are able to have a more intimate relationship with God – more intimate even than if Jesus were still walking the earth. If Jesus were still here, then He would only be able to be with some of the disciples some of the time, but through the Holy Spirit, He is able to be with all of us all of the time.
The disciples were too fixed on all the hardships that Jesus told them were coming. How could it be better for them if Jesus left? They were so used to seeing Jesus and having Him in the flesh that they could not imagine having to trust in His words and promises with Him gone. They had to learn to walk by faith and not by sight, just as we do. And now we have the Holy Spirit to convict, guide and lead us in the path of righteousness. The Holy Spirit is also the one that reveals to us our need for a Savior and softens our hearts to receive Him.
Lesson4Life: It was to everyone’s advantage that Jesus returned to heaven because it gave us an opportunity to know Him as our Savior before He returns.