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.
While it is great to have the Holy Spirit in my life my natural inclination is to disagree with Jesus’ statement here, that it is better for Him to go so the Holy Spirit can come. After all, if Jesus was walking with me, I could see him, touch Him, talk with Him and clearly hear His response (even though his disciples often had no idea what His answers meant, at least they knew they were hearing Him clearly). So why is it better for us that Jesus is now with the Father and the Holy Spirit is with us?
I see at least two reasons.In verse 12 we see Jesus say there were things He still wanted to share with them but they weren’t ready. The Holy Spirit would not just teach them but actually guide them into truth – in fact “all the truth” (John 16:13). Jesus was teaching them in this chapter but they were clueless as to what He meant. Clearly we need to be guided into understanding the Lord. Thank you Holy Spirit for not just telling us the way but for also being a guide to take us there.
Second, as wonderful as walking with Jesus in the flesh would be, even in his spiritual, after resurrection, body, He could only be one place at one time. So if He were still here in the flesh we would have very limited access to Him and would usually find ourselves on our own trying to live for God and represent Him in this world. The Holy Spirit is always with all believers. We are never alone, never without access to God, never without a guide, counselor or comforter.
Thank you Holy Spirit for continually being with us guiding us, guarding us, consoling and counseling us.
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”