I woke up one Christmas morning to find a stocking at the foot of my bed. Inside was the cutest puppy I’d ever seen, squirming to get free. It was a great gift that brought wonderful memories to my childhood. Maybe you’ve received a really great gift at one time or another. Sometimes gifts are challenging to purchase—if you don’t know the person all that well, don’t know what they want, or what they need. Other times you come across the perfect gift for someone special you know very well and it’s a great feeling.

John 14 teaches about a very special gift. We get to slowly unwrap Jesus’ greatest gift to his disciples in our study of John and it’s got our name on it too! A gift he knew we would need, far beyond what we deserve.

The night before Jesus faced the cross he told his beloved over and over again, “I am leaving you.” For three years, they’d given up everything to follow him, and now was Jesus abandoning them?

So, in this context, Jesus said, I know you’re sad but I know something you don’t know. The best is yet to come! I have the greatest gift ever wrapped up for you Peter my passionate friend, and John, you’re gonna love it! James and Matthew—it’s just what you need. For all of you, this gift is better than you can imagine.

Do you know that feeling?….you found it, the perfect thing for someone you love, and you can’t wait to give it to them. Oh, was Jesus ever right when he said, it’s more blessed to give than to receive!

In verses 15-16 Jesus says: “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor (or in other translations: Advocate, Comforter or my personal favorite…..Helper) to be WITH you FOREVER.”

Verse 26 tells us, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you ALL things and will remind you of EVERY thing I have said to you.

What? I hope that stuns you!! I have God—the very Spirit of God, all of the knowledge and wisdom of God with me, to help me, to advocate for me, to comfort and counsel me, to teach and remind me….FOREVER.”

In verse 17 Jesus gives this incredible gift a name—The Spirit of Truth—because the Holy Spirit is a who and not a what. He says the world cannot accept him (speaking of the Spirit) because it neither sees him or knows him, but you KNOW him, for he lives with you and will be IN you. The Spirit of Truth is not a thing to get, but a person to know and have fellowship with forever.

Fast forward a few weeks. He left the mission of God to a ragtag group of Jewish peasants, facing impossible odds. In one generation they changed the course of history. Oppressed, lacking any advantage, these were “unschooled ordinary men.” (Acts 4:13) Yet they changed the world forever, because of the Holy Spirit—the best gift ever.

Donielle Winter

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