“It is to your advantage that I go away.” John 16:7
How in the world could this be true? Their best friend, their Savior, their Messiah, their Lord… gone! Is there any way this could be a good thing?
Jesus’ words here remind me of the Apostle Paul’s words in Romans 8:28. “He works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
How can losing be winning? How can bad be good?
But what did Jesus’ departure mean for His followers?
1. The Permanent Indwelling Presence of the Spirit of God
“For if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.” John 16:7
While Jesus was with them, they had Him by their side. Oh, but when He left, the Holy Spirit would come to dwell on the inside. Now that is better! The power and the presence of the living God inside of me. Nothing is impossible!
Jesus gives another reason why it will be to their advantage for Him to leave.
2. The Unspeakable, Unexplainable, Unstoppable Experience of True Joy
“Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you… that your joy may be full.” John 16:22-24
The power in sorrow and suffering is that it becomes fertile ground for unspeakable, irrevocable joy. This too is a gift from Jesus through the Spirit, and the depth of this experience of joy is so transformative, we become permanently marked by it!
“We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us!” Romans 8:37
“It is to your advantage that I go away.”
Impossible to imagine, but true, nevertheless.
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