“…the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him…” John 14:17
Que le Seigneur vous bénisse et vous garde et faire resplendir son visage sur vous. I do not speak French. If it were not for an online translation application, I could not have added that sentence to this post. So if you’re like me, illiterate in French and received this message from me and were unable to translate it, you would not be sure if I paid you an amazing complement or just insulted you in an extremely crass and vulgar way. In short, it would add very little meaning or make very little impact to your life.
I have often wondered about how Jesus Christ’s message can seemingly have such little impact to some and, at times, the greater world. Don’t get me wrong, Christ’s message is The message for the world and I’m not inferring that it does not have power. Those who hear and believe in the message do amazing and miraculous things. I just find it puzzling how so many can hear it and it make no impact on their lives. Almost as if it is being spoken in a foreign language.
There is also another aspect to the use of the word; mistranslation. That is to say that the Word has been used as the pretense for the inflicting of excruciating pain, violence and great evil. Again, please don’t misinterpret me. I am not saying the Word is evil, but, at times what has been done in Its name has been evil. The meaning of the Word as God intended has been missed.
Jesus has just finished His Last Supper with His 11 remaining disciples and they will soon be departing for the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus knows that His Heavenly Father has given to Him these 11 brave souls and they are to be entrusted with the spreading of Jesus’ Gospel to the rest of the world. Now the 11 have had amazing experiences with Jesus. Through Jesus they have been able to accomplish miraculous feats. They have learned about and perhaps (although the bible does not indicate one way or the other) actually learned to read scripture. So this learning by Jesus teaching and actual experience should be enough for them to go out and successfully, impactfully spread His Gospel? Jesus knew better. For Jesus knew that there was no human learning nor experience that would adequately allow them to understand, much less, explain to others the truths of the Gospel. They would need a helper, a translator. They would need the Spirit of Truth; The Holy Spirit. Also, The Holy Spirit is not one among many, a holy spirit. He is The One and Only Holy Spirit.
Now, it might be later, after Jesus Christ arose from the dead and the disciples were given their great commission, that some would have thought how much easier their tasks would be if the world also received The Holy Spirit. However, as Jesus was oft to do, He warned them ahead of time that the world could not receive the Holy Spirit. For the world can not see Him nor know Him. Thus they can not accurately hear and/or interpret His message.
So we find ourselves living in a world filled with messages; many of them mixed as to how to live. How is it that we receive and understand the message of Jesus Christ? Is it because we are very wise and very experienced in living a righteous life by our own strengths? Is it because we made the first contact, asking for the Holy Spirit to be sent to us knowing that we needed Him? To understand the amazing Grace that is the gift of the Holy Spirit, we have to be clear how He comes to us. Jesus Christ knows His followers and their needs. Christ prays to the Father and it is the Father who sends the Holy Spirit to us. Finally, once sent The Holy Spirit dwells with us by being in us.
Thus, if there is any wisdom to any of my posts (and I am not claiming that there is; that is up to you the reader to decide) should I claim that the wisdom is my own doing, based on my knowledge, hard work and clean living? As Paul would say: “Heaven Forbid!” If I were to do that then your response should be to stop reading, exit the blog never to return, deleting all traces of it from your computer and your mind. Likewise be very careful following any earthly born human being who claims such personal only insight.
Truthfully, in my own pondering and musing on the Gospel, I have often missed the clear message It is trying to teach me. It is only when I humble myself and am open to listening to The Holy Spirit do I begin to gain insight into the Holy and Never Changing Truth. Granted there is an ethereal aspect to the Holy Spirit, even including His Name, that can be more difficult to grasp. Yet He is real. The Truth that He wants to impart to us is real. The only way we are to gain insight to as well as taking the correct action from the Gospel is through listening to The Holy Spirit. Finally, like all true blessings, The Holy Spirit comes to us, not based on our worthiness to receive Him, but by the Gracious Gift of our Heavenly Father. May we truly be open to His words for us.
(Oh by the way, I’m not going to leave you hanging. According to the online translator app, the sentence that I started with, written in French is translated: May the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you. I know from prior visitors, that some do speak French. So if the translation is in error, please leave a note correcting it.)
Our Most Gracious and Heavenly Father, we humbly proclaim that You provide all things for us. You provide the physical sustenance of life, the sustaining love for our hearts and through The Holy Spirit, Your precious guidance and comfort for our souls. Thank you Most Merciful Father, that You have not left us to our own devices and wisdom to interpret Your Word but have sent to us The Holy Spirit. Forgive us, when we attempt to circumvent the Spirit’s wisdom with our own meager wisdom and intellect. Through the Holy Spirit give us strength to live lives of sanctification and praise to You, Dear Father. In the Name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.