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“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
A consolation prize is often awarded to those contestants who do not take first place in an event. But for those who work hard for months or years, anything less than the top prize can be seen as disappointing, rather than consoling.
When Jesus informed his disciples of his plan to return to heaven, leaving them the Holy Spirit, it might have seemed like a consolation prize to them. They had been with Jesus for three years, learning from him, growing in their faith and their understanding of God’s will for their lives. They came to trust in his protection in moments of danger and to turn to his wisdom in all matters. Their Rabbi Jesus had taught them so much in their time together, but they knew they had only understood a small part of it and had retained even less. So they were heartbroken and confused by his words of departure.
But the Holy Spirit that Jesus would send them was a different kind of consolation prize. He would truly console the followers of Jesus. The Spirit would not only remind the apostles of everything Jesus had spoken to them, he would open their eyes to see those truths more clearly than ever before. Strengthened in their faith in Christ, they would be emboldened to spread his gospel wherever they went.
The Holy Spirit who is given to us also today is not God’s second-best gift. By means of the words of Scripture that we read, or that are spoken over the water of Baptism and the bread and wine of Holy Communion, the Holy Spirit unites us to our Savior Jesus through faith. He calms our troubled hearts, assuring us that our sins are forgiven by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. He removes our fears, reminding us that in heaven Jesus continues to watch over us and intercede for us before the Father. The Holy Spirit is Jesus’ great prize of consolation to all who follow him today.
Lord God, thank you for sending your Son Jesus to die for me and for sending the Holy Spirit to live with me. Amen.
Today's Devotion is brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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