November 11 (Daily reading: John 14-17) When Jesus was in the upper room with His disciples on the evening before His death, He prepared them for His departure. He told them that the Holy Spirit would come and what that meant for them. He set the scene by telling them: “He who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father” (14:12) This must have created questions, so Jesus explained: “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth … He abides with you and will be in you … In that day [when the Holy Spirit comes] you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you” (14:16-17, 20). The Holy Spirit would be in them, and they would be empowered to do greater works!
Jesus explained further how this would work. “The Helper, the Holy Spirit…will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you” (14:26). Jesus would still be with them through the Spirit! The Holy Spirit would enable them to be witnesses: “When the Helper comes … He will testify about Me, and you will testify also” (15:26-27). But it was not their responsibility to convince the world of anything. That was the Holy Spirit’s role. “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” (16:8). Conviction of sin for those who do not believe in Christ, and conviction of righteousness for those who believe that Jesus had come from the Father as the Christ. Then, conviction of judgment because of Christ’s total victory over Satan. “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (16:33).
– Al Gary