Jesus taught much during His lifetime. Even then the disciples had difficulty understanding all He said. When Jesus left this earth, He told His disciples that He had much more to say.
But the problem was that the disciples were not capable of receiving them then: “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear” (John 16:12 NIV).
He promised them that when the Holy Spirit would come, He would teach them and guide them into all truth (v.13). Earlier Jesus had told them that the Holy Spirit will not only teach them but will also remind them of everything He had told them (Ref. John 14:26).
Thus the Holy Spirit is our teacher. He has been sent to us to teach us the truth; for He is the Spirit of truth (Ref. John 14:17a). Further Jesus told the disciples that the Spirit would tell them what was yet to come ((Ref. John 16:13z).
The writings of Paul, Peter and John (especially the Book of Revelation) in the Bible does contain future events that the Spirit of God taught them.
This brings us to one of the most majestic truths in the Bible about its authorship. Though about 40 people were instrumental in the writing of the Bible over a period of 1600 years, the One who inspired all of them is the Spirit of God.
Peter proclaimed this truth: “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20, 21 NIV). Paul also echoed the same truth: “All Scripture is God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16a NIV) What a blessed truth this is!
And Jesus has send us the Holy Spirit to illuminate our minds to understand the blessed truths in the Scriptures (Ref. 1 Corinthians 2:13). Who else is better qualified to teach us than the author Himself?
Without His help neither you nor I can understand the Scriptures: “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14 NIV).
Therefore whenever you read the Scriptures, pray: “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law” (Psalm 119:18 NIV). Then the Spirit of God will illuminate your mind to understand the glorious truths in the Scriptures.
In the Book of Acts, there is a lovely description of the Spirit of God’s longing to help a genuine seeker of truth. Here an Ethiopian eunuch was returning home after worshiping in Jerusalem. He sat in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet.
And “The Spirit told Philip, `Go to that chariot and stay near it’ ” (Acts 8:29 NIV). The Spirit of God thus led Philip to that man to help him understand the good news about Jesus (v. 35).
And when God’s work of salvation was wrought in that man’s life, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away (v.39). And the eunuch went on his way rejoicing.
This incident tells us that the Spirit of the Lord is always willing to help us understand the Scriptures. He often uses people like Philip, whom He has already instructed in the Word, to teach others. May you too be blessed through the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit.
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See also the Lesson 21 He Will Remind You in John’s Gospel Easy Notes Series.