Today’s reading: John 16
As the teachings of the Last Supper come to a close Jesus speaks more of his death and he reveals to the Apostles that he will send the Holy Spirit to guide them after he is gone. Jesus reveals something important. Namely, there is more to learn, or at least to understand better. Jesus says that the Holy Spirit will lead the Apostles into this truth.
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. John 16:13-14
Two things are important here. First, this promise is made to the Apostles. Now, this does not exclude that possibility that the Holy Spirit will speak to people individually and reveal to them truths about scripture. However, it does mean that the Holy Spirit in a unique way. The Bible says that the Church is the pillar and foundation of truth. Thus, the Apostles and their successors the Bishops will play a special role in preserving the truth of God’s revelation through Jesus.
Second, notice that the Spirit will, “not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears…” and “He will glorify me because he will take what is mine and declare it to you”. Notice how this is corroborated by other things we learn from Scripture. At Pentecost, Jesus will breathe on the Apostles and give them the Holy Spirit. Thus, the Church will have a living soul within it, which is the Holy Spirit. We know that the Church is the bride of Christ and that, “the two become one flesh”. Thus, the Church will be the living embodiment of Christ until he returns. Here the Holy Spirit is called, the “Spirit of Truth” and Jesus is, “the way, the truth, and the life”. This is how closely the Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Church are related. The Church is not a mere organization of men. It is the living embodiment of Christ on earth.
Tomorrow: John 17