“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.”
Jesus, in John 13-17, speaks from what we know as his farewell discourse. This is his parting words to his beloved disciples who he spent the last 3.5 years with, teaching them, ministering with them, ministering to them, and loving them deeply.
But alas- their Lord is leaving.
They, who have known him so well and know no life apart from him, will suddenly be without him. There is going to be a tough transition ahead, to say the least.
But be not afraid, oh beloved! Instructions for continual fellowship with you all did Christ give! Observe what he instructs them to do:
Abide in me, and I in you.
But how? You will be gone! The latter half of Jesus’ discourse reveals the answer-
I will send the Holy Spirit to you…
Oh sweet mercies- what a profound solution! Christ who has been around us these past years will no longer outside of us but rather…in us! Jesus in the flesh could only be at one place and at one time, but now He can be at all places at all times in all believers! We could only gauge his emotions and his reactions by watching him, but now we can know his emotions and his reactions by feeling him.
The solution offered the Jesus’ disciples is offered to us as well who live not in the times of the disciples. The answer to what we can do in the Christian life apart from the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives is simple- nothing. We can do absolutely nothing.
As the disciples were able to maintain continual fellowship with Jesus after he had departed, so we, who have never seen his face before, can too.
Behold, he sends the Holy Spirit! Be filled with him!