Two thousand years ago, the disciples had Jesus as their teacher, but even they had problems understanding what He taught them. There are countless examples of Jesus saying something and the disciples completely missing the point. They just didn’t get it. In fact one of them even argued with Him, saying “No, You won’t go to the cross. I won’t let that happen.”
Jesus would teach them about trusting God, and in the next chapter, we see them not trusting God. Jesus even used Himself as an example during a lesson about humility. During the Last Supper, Jesus showed Himself as a servant of the Lord and washed the disciples’ feet. Yet during that same dinner, the disciples argued about which one of them was the greatest (Luke 22:24-27).
But Jesus promised that when He died, another teacher would come and help them to properly digest spiritual truth.
“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that He will receive what He will make known to you” (John 16:12-14, emphasis added).
Jesus not only told them a better teacher was on the way but He also said the new teacher would convey truth that He couldn’t pass on at that time. In other words, Jesus was saying, “I have more to say, and the new teacher will be the one to teach you about it.” The Spirit “will guide you into all the truth,” which includes applying the message to the hearts of the disciples. Then the meaning of Jesus’ life and death, faith, hope, love, the power of prayer, and much more would all be made crystal clear to them.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon