“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.”
Up until a few weeks ago, we’ve been discussing the sharing of truth, and how some seem to do it awkwardly, say, by ranting on social media. While in contrast, Jesus shared truth in the context of amazing extraordinary unmistakable love. In today’s post we’ll see from our text what 2 things every believer needs to share the truth about Jesus with others.
1. We need the Holy Spirit.
In our text Jesus says, “. . . when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.”
In John 1:32-34 we see the Holy Spirit descend on Jesus like a dove. It’s interesting to me that before this event we don’t hear much about Jesus. But after Jesus receives the Holy Spirit, he demonstrates love in spectacular fashion. He heals and forgives and blesses and gives to the poor and feeds the hungry. And he shares truth about himself too. We begin to hear about all the outpouring of God’s love from Jesus, and how Jesus shares truth about himself, after Jesus receives the Holy Spirit.
It’s a similar experience for the disciples after Jesus’ resurrection. In Acts chapter 1 we see Jesus promise his disciples they will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:4-5) Then we see the disciples “devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.” (Acts 1:14) Next we see the disciples receive the Holy Spirit. And it’s after the Holy Spirit fills them that Peter shares the truth about Jesus and 3,000 people are saved. (Acts 2)
In both cases it’s after the Holy Spirit is given that the truth about Jesus is effectively shared. That’s perfectly consistent with what Jesus says about the Holy Spirit in our text. Jesus says the Holy Spirit “will bear witness about me.”
So Jesus tells us in Luke 11:11-13 that we should ask for the good gift of the Holy Spirit. And then in Luke 18:1-8 Jesus even tells us how to ask: the way the widow relentlessly petitioned the ungodly judge.
So why not do as Jesus instructed you and I to do, and why not do it right now? Ask your Father for His Holy Spirit to be poured out upon you in the same way He was poured out upon His disciples in Acts chapter 2. Ask like the widow petitioned the judge. Ask right now. Ask again tomorrow. Ask at the start of every day. Ask three times a day.
It appears that Jesus needed the Holy Spirit to share truth about himself the way he did.
It appears Jesus’ disciples needed the Holy Spirit to effectively share Jesus with others.
You and I do too.
2. We Need To Have Been With Jesus
In the second sentence of our text, Jesus says to his disciples, you “. . . will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.”
The way Jesus makes this statement it makes sense that the opposite is also true. If the men Jesus is talking to had not been with Jesus, they would not bear witness about Jesus.
Jesus lived with his disciples for three years. For three years they were together. They worked together, shared quarters when they slept, and ate together. And they enjoyed intimate time apart from the crowds. It was during such a time that Jesus, alone with his disciples, privately shared the meaning of the parable of the sower of the seed. These occasions of time alone with his disciples occurred regularly. “. . . Privately to his own disciples he explained everything.” (Mark 4:10-11, Mark 4:34)
One time, when Jesus and his disciples were passing through Galilee, Jesus “did not want anyone to know, for he was teaching his disciples” about his death and resurrection. So we see that Jesus carefully guarded his time with those closest to him. (Mark 9:30-31)
Not long before he would be taken away by the authorities and killed, Jesus gathered his disciples and they ate, talked, took the first communion, sung a hymn, and prayed. In the book of John, we see that Jesus also washed the feet of his disciples during this time. In fact, in the book of John, five chapters are devoted to the documentation of the intimate time Jesus invested in his disciples before his crucifixion. (Matthew 26:20-39, John chapters 13-17)
So the disciples had been with Jesus.
It’s obvious then what we should do. Find ways to spend time with Jesus. He’s the source of the Christian’s power to share truth. Commit yourself to finding intimacy with him. Be intentional about regularly spending time with people who have an intimate relationship with Jesus, do what they do. Study Jesus’ life in the scriptures. Pray regularly, alone, in a quiet place. Pray for the deepest best possible intimacy with Jesus. Practice loving people the way Jesus loved people — practice so much you fail at it — then pick yourself up and practice again. Never give up.
The Results Of The Holy Spirit And Being With Jesus
Pursuing the Holy Spirit and intimacy with Jesus will change who you are. The people I know who are most effective at sharing truth are people who pursue these two things every day.
For me, you wouldn’t be reading these words if I didn’t try to live this way.
How about you? What have you found that helps you to share truth about Jesus effectively?
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Chapter 9: Jesus And The Holy Spirit (from the book How Jesus Loved People (and how you can love like Jesus)
“Pursuing the Holy Spirit and intimacy with Jesus will change who you are. ”
They do indeed. The cost is tremendously high to follow Him in uncompromising faith (few do) but Jesus is so very worth it. This we know from experience. As we pay the price for spiritual maturity, the intimacy with Jesus grows and grows. This changes us because His Spirit will not dwell with ‘self’. As we repent of ‘self’ Jesus can fill us more and more with Himself. From the well of life that He springs up in us comes much that will nourish others.
As an introvert I am not one who talks much to people, although I write a bit. I do find when Jesus brings people our way we do share what God has given us. Wanda, my wife, has learned a lot from Ray Comfort about sharing with others His truth. By giving people the Law and letting them understand their position with God they are free to choose what to do with it.
Unfortunately many still believe that a soft message of just grace and love will ‘woo’ people. This does not work. People need to know the truth about Jesus and the immutable law of God. That foundation is critical. Until we learn to restore the Law to its rightful place in our message of truth people will not follow Him and accept His great sacrifice for them.
Homer, I so appreciate your comment. I popped over to your blog and I love the way you and your family desire to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit wherever he takes you. It reminds me of Jesus! I pray you’ll continue studying Christ and continue to follow his leading and imitate him in everything.