“I have many more things to say to you, but you can not bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said, that He takes of Mine, and will disclose it to you” (Jn 16:12-15).
Jesus came to earth to reveal many things to His disciples. He revealed the Father. He identified Himself as the Messiah, the Son of God. He ushered in the kingdom of God. He explained what life in the kingdom of God looks like. But here in John chapter 16, we have been learning that Christ’s direct speaking and revelation to His disciples is coming to an end.
Enter the Holy Spirit. The Spirit that Christ is sending, here described as the “Spirit of truth” (see Jn 14:17), will continue Jesus’ ministry of revelation. The Spirit will guide the disciples, and us, “into all the truth”.
Jesus is the embodiment of truth. It is part of His three-fold identity; the way, the truth, and the life. The Spirit’s guidance “into all the truth” will be a further unfolding of all the truth that is found in Jesus. We learned in John 14:26 that the Spirit will illuminate all that Jesus taught.
Jesus insisted more than once that he did not speak or act on His own initiative. His words were those that the Father gave Him (Jn 5:19, 30; 8:28; 12:49). So when the Spirit of truth comes, “He will not speak on His own initiative.” He will follow the pattern of Jesus, disclosing what He has heard from the Father.
The message the Spirit discloses never changes. But by virtue of the Spirit being in us and speaking through us, the message is being proclaimed by the Spirit in the exact way that the Father prescribes for each generation. The Spirit and His message are moving in time and space upon the earth, illuminating the hearts and minds of Christ’s faithful.
The Spirit will glorify the Son by taking all that the Son has, which in itself has come from the Father, and will disclose it to us. The Trinity, God in three persons, is clearly on display in this passage. The Son has appeared and lived into all that the Father had for Him. The Spirit will carry on the work.
The Spirit glorifies the Son by unfolding clearly the meaning of Jesus’ person and work. Hear the Spirit. As you read, worship, and contemplate all that God is revealing to you, you are listening to the Spirit’s voice.