The Deep End – The Spirit Within
‘’Trying to do the Lord’s work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting, and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you.’ – Corrie ten Boom
Imagine how the disciples must have reacted to the way Jesus was talking. In John’s Gospel, as Jesus arrives in Jerusalem and his death approaches, he starts to talk about leaving the disciples. They will no longer be able to see him. He predicts that Judas will betray him and Peter will deny him. The disciples are in turmoil. ‘Where are you going?’ they ask; ‘Why can’t I follow you?’; ‘How can we know the way?’
On top of this, Jesus has started to give them instructions for after he is gone. The disciples still do not understand where, or why, Jesus is going, so you can sense their panic and fear at the task that lies ahead, the work they will have to do without their teacher and friend to help them. They will be like lost sheep, without a shepherd, to borrow one of Jesus’ own metaphors.
So the promise they hear from Jesus that he will send his Spirit must be very welcome. ‘I will not leave you orphans,’ says Jesus, to a group who must have been afraid of just that. What’s more, they already know this Spirit, because he is in them. That same Spirit is in us. We are not alone in our struggles.