Week Six: The Holy Spirit and the Last Supper
Verse to memorize
“I will ask the Father and He will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the spirit of truth.”
At the Last Supper, Jesus wants to give His final instructions to the disciples before He confronts His approaching death. He wants to prepare them for when He is physically gone. But they do not understand. (I have arranged the passage in dialogue format.) Listen!
Jesus: Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Father’s house, there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to Myself, so that where I am, so you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.
Thomas: Lord we do not know where You are going. How can we know the way?
Jesus: I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you know Me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him.
Philip: Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.
Jesus: Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know Me? Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own, but the Father who dwells in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and Father is in Me; but if you do not, then believe Me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in Me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in My name you ask Me for anything, I will do it.
If you love me, you will keep My commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him because He abides with you, and He will be in you.
I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while, the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me, and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will reveal Myself to them.
Judas (not the Iscariot): Lord, how is it that You will reveal Yourself to us, and not to the world?
Jesus: Those who love Me will keep My word, and My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love Me does not keep My words, and the word that you hear is not Mine but is from the Father who sent Me.
I have said these things to you while I am still with You. (v.26) But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I have said to you. (NRSV)
Gospel of John 14:1-26
1) Q: Parents, if you can, please print out this amazing dialogue and, if there are four of you, (or even two) assign the roles of Jesus, Thomas, Philip, and Judas (not the Iscariot). Do a read-through before the questions. Read it a second time and let the words sink in. Q: What is Jesus trying to tell his closest friends and disciples? A: Answers will vary.
2) Q: In this dialogue, Our Lord has so much to tell the disciples. But He is speaking on one level and they are hearing on another level. He is speaking on a heavenly or divine level using images like “house” and “place” and they are thinking on the visual, geographical level. Q: In the fullness of Divine Revelation, how does the Church now answer the following questions of the disciples? 1) What does the image, “My Father’s house”, represent? A: Eternal life, which we call “Heaven”. 2) Where is Jesus going? A: To Eternal Life/Heaven which we and they cannot see. 3) Why can’t they (and we as well) see the Father? A: Because God the Father (and after the Ascension, Jesus) is true Spirit; we cannot see God. 4) Why did Jesus reveal Himself to the disciples and not to the world? A: The Lord reveals Himself only to those who love Him and keep His word, i.e. obey His commands.
3) Q: What does Jesus want His disciples to do after He leaves them? A: He wants them to stay in relationship with Him, through the words that He taught them and through prayer. Q: In order to be able to achieve this spiritual relationship, what commands did Jesus give the disciples? There are four of them. Can you find them in the dialogue? A: 1) “Don’t let your hearts be troubled! (Worrying and anxiety are OUT for people of faith! We replace it with prayers of petition and trust.) 2) Believe in God the Father and in Jesus the Son! 3) Love Jesus! and 4) Keep His commandments!
4) Q: What promises does Jesus make to the disciples in the Last Supper dialogue? There are five. Q: Can you find them? A: 1) “I will prepare a place for you” (Heaven) 2) “I will come again and take you to myself” (The Second Coming) 3) “If you believe… you will do great works” (saints and miracles) 4) “I will do whatever you ask in My name.” and 5) The Father will send you the Advocate, the Holy Spirit. We Christians can claim all of these promises. Q: Do you claim them?
5) Q: St. John the Evangelist, writing in Greek, used the word parakletos which is translated as either Paraclete or Advocate. Either way, a paraclete is a person who encourages or calls forth another person. So the Holy Spirit has several names. Q: What does Jesus say is the Holy Spirit’s job? A: To “…teach you everything and remind you of all that I have said to you.” Our Lord knew that the disciples could not understand all that He was telling them before He died. So by the power of the Holy Spirit, the disciples were able to recall Jesus’ words later and were instructed in their spiritual meaning.
6) Q: When and where did Jesus keep His promise to send the Holy Spirit to the disciples? A: In the Upper Room with Mary and many more disciples, men and women, at Pentecost. (See Week One of the Family Bible Challenge) Hence the Church was born! Q: Have you ever felt the power of the Holy Spirit move in your mind and heart?? We can call upon the Holy Spirit any time we need help, power, and inspiration with this Prayer:
Come Holy Spirit! Fill the hearts of Your faithful and enkindle in us the fire of Your divine love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created and You shall renew the face of the earth.
O God, who has instructed the hearts of Your faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit,
grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolations.
Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Courtesy of The Bible Project