16:12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you."
All through this evening following the meal and Judas' departure Jesus has been preparing the eleven for a new reality, a "new" leader.
When I first got my drivers license I quickly realized I didn't know my way around that well. It turns out that as a passenger for all those years I hadn't really paid attention to how we were getting to the places we were going. As a driver I needed to know and cell phones were not yet common never mind GPS. My GPS system was my dad and that was always an adventure. I will never forget the time he used a red barn as a landmark so that I would know where to make a crucial turn. I drove and drove but no red barn ever appeared. Finally I gave up and went home. I explained with frustration that there was no red barn anywhere on the road I was on. He paused, thinking, and then said "oh yeah, I guess that's been torn down for a while now".
Here's what happened. Back when my dad was in my shoes and needed landmarks to find his way the red barn was there. Then he became familiar with where he was going. The roads and turns became 2nd nature. He no longer needed red barns to know where to turn. His familiarity with making the turn automatically made him forget the barn was long gone, just as my reliance as a passenger made me not pay attention either.
Familiarity and routine can blind us. Auto pilot can often cause us to miss so much.
In a sense the eleven have been on auto pilot. They have been passengers on the "Jesus bus" and now the "bus" is leaving without them. Left at "the station" they will have to find their own way. This will be a major adjustment for them. Following Him without His visible, audible presence is going to be new and very different.
Jesus knows this so over and over He keeps referring to His "Replacement", calling Him the Helper and the Comforter and the Spirit of Truth. He is now the One to follow. He is the One who will keep revealing the things Jesus has not yet been able to teach them. In a way this is going to be all new and different for them but in another way very familiar. You see they hadn't always had the visible/audible presence of Jesus. Prior to finding Him they had this still small voice that gave them guidance and instruction. It was that unseen intangible voice that urged Peter to invite Jesus to his home for lunch three and a half years earlier. It was that same Voice that urged Matthew to leave his tax collection booth and follow this unknown Teacher from Nazareth. It was the same Voice that told James and John to quit fishing and start following.
That Voice has been with humanity from the start. He speaks to us often. Here is the problem. We are too often on auto pilot. We travel the same familiar routes and hang on to the same ideas we've had since childhood. Barns disappear and the Voice tries to urge us to take a fresh look at our surroundings but we stay in the rut and ritual of the familiar.
Sometimes it takes a new set of eyes to come along beside us and point out that things are not what they were. Nicodemus was even teaching others the way to God when in reality he had lost the way himself. Jesus words to him "You are a teacher in Israel and do not know these things?" was an attempt to shake him from his lethargy and open his eyes to that fact the red barn was no more.
Familiarity, comfort, and routine do not make wrong right, lies into truth or tradition into a reliable source of direction.
"He will guide you into all truth". Are we listening? Are we even open to listen?
One thing is certain. If we choose to listen we will neither remain where we are, as we are, or comfortable, but we will get Home.smile emoticon