Going Deeper 05.21.2021

‚ÄčThe Gospel reading for Pentecost Sunday... John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15
"When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning." … "I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts.  Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned. I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you."

"Truth" has always been a slippery concept, right from the beginning.  "Did God really say...?" the serpent asked in the Garden.  "What is 'truth'?" Pilate would ask Jesus.  And in our time, we hear expressions such as "What it true for you is not necessarily true of me..."  and "You can't handle the truth."

As followers of Jesus, we pursue ultimate truth from one source.  Some Christians proclaim that the source of truth is the Bible.  The challenge is to agree on just what that truth is.  For as long as there has been the Church, there have been disagreements about interpretation and application of what it taught in the Bible.

Ultimately, we do well to remember that Jesus, proclaimed by John as the Word-made-flesh, is the ultimate source of truth-- the way, the truth, and the life.  And Jesus taught that the Spirit/Advocate He was to send to and upon His followers would "guide you into all the truth."   Every time we open the written word, we must call about the Spirit it reveal to us the truth... the truth about Jesus, and the truth "about sin and righteousness and judgment."  

Please note: Jesus equates sin with unbelief.  The truth is that the only thing which can separate us from God is unbelief.  Yes, we must recognize the reality of sin in and around us, but the truth about sin is that it has been covered by the grace of God.  Also, the truth about the "ruler of this world" is that he has been condemned/defeated.  The most important truth of all is that we are beloved children of God and are now called and freed to follow Jesus, being continuously transformed by the Spirit.

With You in Him,

Mark Gabbert, Pastor
Zion Lutheran Church, Wellington

"Gratefully Growing Servants"