May 19, 2020 (Tuesday) - The Advocate - A Reflection on John 16:5-11

But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.

I don’t know if you realize this but as Christians we are on trial every day. We are assaulted by the world, we are tempted by the flesh, we are accused by the devil. The world. The flesh. The devil. An unholy trinity, if there ever was one. And I am sure you will agree that it is very unpleasant, this constant, seemingly unending battle that they wage against us.

And the way they wage war is systematic. The world first bombards you unceasingly with its ungodly enticements through the media. As a result we get strongly tempted by the desires of the flesh. And, finally, when we succumb to our baser instincts, we have an accusatory finger pointed at us by the devil, saying, “Guilty”. Do you see how it works?

Left to our own devices, we don’t stand a chance. It was no different with the apostles. And Jesus knew that only too well. They were safe as long as he was with them. This is why, before he left them, he said to them: It is good that I go, because then I will send the advocate to you. And he will help you out.

Then he added: “And when he comes he will do three things: he will prove the world wrong about sin, and righteousness, and judgement.” Now please listen to this: “About sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.”

We often think the Holy Spirit’s job is to convict us of sin, like some nagging spouse. But what he convicts us of is righteousness. When the devil points his finger at us and says, “Guilty,” the Holy Spirit points his finger to Jesus on the cross and says, “Penalty paid.” I am not going to explain the other things, because all I want you to do today is think about this. Too many of us walk around feeling unworthy because we have done something wrong.

May the Spirit remind us — now — that we are made worthy by what Christ has done for us. And when we believe that, we will actually start leading worthy lives.