Seated at the table
May 23, 2021
New International Version
4 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, 5 but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. 7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”
Notes from Point 1
Notes from Point 2
Notes from Point 3
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The disciples were bewildered and grief-stricken men. All they knew was that they were going to lose Jesus. But he told them that in the end this was all for the best, because, when he went away, the Holy Spirit, the Helper, would come. When he was in the body, he could not be everywhere with them; it was always a case of greetings and farewells. When he was in the body, he could not reach the minds and hearts and consciences of men and women everywhere; he was confined by the limitations of place and time. But there are no limitations in the Spirit. Everywhere we go, the Spirit is with us. The coming of the Spirit would be the fulfilment of the promise: ‘I am with you always, to the end of the age’ (Matthew 28:20). The Spirit would bring to men and women an uninterrupted fellowship forever, and would bring to Christian preachers a power and an effectiveness no matter where they preached.
We have here an almost perfect summary of the work of the Spirit. The word that John uses of the work of the Spirit is the word elegchein, translated as convince by the Revised Standard Version. The trouble is that no one word can translate it adequately. It is used for the cross-examination of a witness, or someone on trial, or an opponent in an argument. It has always this idea of cross-examining people until they see and admit their errors, or acknowledge the force of some argument which they had not yet seen. It is, for instance, sometimes used by the Greeks for the action of conscience on a person’s mind and heart. Clearly such cross-examination can do two things—it can convict a person of the crime that has been committed or the wrong that has been done; or it can convince a person of the weakness of a particular case and the strength of the case which has been opposed. In this passage, we need both meanings, both convict and convince.
 William Barclay, The Gospel of John, vol. 2, The New Daily Study Bible (Louisville, KY: Edinburgh, 2001), 224.