Thursday, July 5, 2018

A “Good” Goodbye

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

I don’t particularly like goodbyes, especially when I’m close to the one I’m saying goodbye to. I remember last summer we took our grandchildren on a road trip. When we got home, I hated that we had to hug each other and say, “Goodbye.” I wanted to get back in the car and start over.

With that, I can only image the pain of the disciples when Jesus said, “Goodbye,” even though He told them He’d see them again in “a little while” [John 16.16]. And to top that off, He said it was better, to their advantage, that He go away. Hardly believable!

It’s been two thousand years since Jesus said that. Is it true? Has it been to our advantage that He said, “Goodbye?” Well, consider this …

The Holy Spirit now indwells and empowers believers. It was only ten days after the ascension of Jesus that the Holy Spirit began His baptizing ministry, where now, He would indwell every believer, just as Jesus predicted in John 7.39. And speaking about empowerment, there was an explosion of evangelism, the likes of which the world had not known, when the Holy Spirit started dwelling inside the believers [Acts 1.8]. 

The Spirit works in the hearts of mankind. When Jesus said, “Goodbye,” the Holy Spirit came and began to “convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment” [John 16.8]. It isn’t necessary for us to win arguments or outtalk unbelievers. All we need to do is testify to what Jesus has done. The Holy Spirit does the rest. 

The Spirit guides. Before He left them, Jesus told His disciples that when the Spirit came, He would guide them into all truth — some things they could not, at that moment in time, bear [John 16.12-13]. Later, after the Spirit came, the disciples did write down those truths, which we call today, the New Testament. Every time you open the New Testament, you’re hearing, by the Spirit’s inspiration, the truths of Jesus as told by His disciples. 

Indeed, when Jesus left the disciples, it was a “good” goodbye. His goodbye to the disciples was necessary in order to say, “Hello” to us.

Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. John 14.7

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