[Note: This Tuesday Deep was written by Mike Slay but posted by Matt Richardson]
John 16:12–15 (ESV)
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”
As much as Jesus has already said, He now announces that He’s pulling His punches—holding off on some of the toughest truths because the disciples cannot bear them now.
But the Holy Spirit will fill them in later. He will guide you into all truth, … and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
And note how this ties together. Jesus had already told them that the Holy Spirit will fill it all in.
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” — John 14:26
So, where do the epistles that we use to fill it all in come from?
The Holy Spirit. In other words, more scripture is coming.
And, just to close the loop, these very passages are part of the fulfillment of that.
John wrote this gospel many years later with the help of the Holy Spirit.
There’s another curious tidbit in this passage: The Holy Spirit will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak.
The Trinity is way beyond human comprehension, but this detail is simple. The Holy Spirit has no authority of His own. He also has no glory of His own. He will glorify me, for he will take of what is mine and declare it to you.
Okay, but what does “take” mean? Why say it that way?
The Greek words translated as “take” in verses 14 and 15 are both conjugations of lam-ban-o (λαμβανω), which can be translated as "gather," "receive," or "accept." In other words, He’s not grabbing, so much as acting as a middleman.
His job is just to pass along what has been assigned to Him.
This passage clearly sets out the Holy Spirit’s role as specifically subordinate. He is no less a part of the Trinity, which is all one God.
But the function of the Spirit is subordinate.
The Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay and this Saturday Deep is written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.