Beyond Google Translate

  1. Message: In John 16 Jesus is trying to tell them that he will be “going away” but they don’t understand what he’s talking about. He also begins explaining that when he goes it will be a good thing because even though they will grieve, they will receive the gift of the comforter- which is the holy spirit. As he begins explaining that those who have the gift of the spirit can understand things that those without the holy spirit do not, it suddenly makes sense that they don’t understand what he is talking about. They don’t yet have the gift of the holy spirit. Jesus knows this because he acknowledges that he is only telling them these things so that they will remember them later.
  2. Command: Ask the holy spirit for understanding.
  3. Promise: The holy spirit was given to us as a comforter and a teacher.
  4. Warning: Trying to understand scripture and life without the help of the holy spirit is like trying to interpret a language that we haven’t learned.
  5. Application: Reading through thismade me think of all the times I’ve read what the disciples and the crowds of people were told and wondered why they didn’t understand what we have learned to understand from years of church and reading the scriptures. They didn’t have the holy spirit yet, and even though we do we often struggle to understand because we haven’t asked the holy spirit to lead us and teach us. We’re often trying to interpret scripture and interpret the events of our own lives in our understanding. It doesn’t work that way. Without the holy spirit we look as silly as Thomas when he questioned being born again as a grown man climbing back into the womb of his mother. This reading reminded me of the importance of asking the holy spirit to teach me as I read, and as I process the events of my life.

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