Would you believe we are better off without Jesus? In John 16, Jesus had told the disciples quite plainly he must go away. He also said where I am going, you cannot follow. This of course made them sad because Jesus had become a close friend. They had seen him heal countless people, perform incredible miracles and teach with an authority they couldn’t even describe.
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.” (John 16:7)
I’m surprised Peter didn’t immediately respond with, “The advo…. what now?” It would be more than 50 days later until Peter figured out what Jesus was talking about. In that nearly 2 month window of time Jesus was crucified, buried, rose to life ,appeared to over 500 people and went back to heaven. By that time, I am sure the disciples had forgotten all about the “Advocate.” Then, one day in the temple, the Holy Spirit was poured out on the followers of Jesus. They had the power to speak in other languages, perform miracles and cast out demons. The disciples who seemed to be incompetent began to speak with authority and wisdom.
As a result, the movement was born. Thousands believed in Christ, and they were filled with the Spirit of God. It’s been functioning this way for two thousand years. The only reason Christianity survived the ancient world, and spread across the globe, was because Jesus left. After leaving, he held to his promise and sent his Spirit, not just to one man or even 12 men, but he sent it to everyone who believes in him.
I’m glad Jesus finally left. Instead of only one man with the wisdom and knowledge of God, there are now millions who, through this Holy Spirit, can know God. If you believe in Jesus then his innermost being, his Spirit, resides in you. This is the power of the church. This is God’s power here on the earth.