The previous articles in this symposium explained that Jesus is the truth, that we must disown ourselves, that we must primarily know the life and ministry of Jesus, and that we must imitate Jesus’ spiritual life. Yet after getting this far, we have only just begun the race for life. There is so much more to know and do. This is where the Spirit of Truth comes in. During the first Memorial Supper, Jesus told his apostles:
“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.”
– John 16:12-14
On this night at the end of his ministry, Jesus had taught his disciples all they were able to assimilate at that time. But there was much more he wanted to tell them that had to be deferred until he poured out the Spirit of Truth who would ‘he will tell you what is yet to come.’ This occurred on Pentecost 33 C.E., approximately 50 days after Jesus said the above words.
On the day of Pentecost, the apostles and other men and women disciples, totaling 120 people, were not at the temple celebrating. They were gathered together in an upper room praying. (Acts 1:12-15) They recalled that Jesus had told them before ascending to heaven:
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
– Acts 1:8
And as Jesus said, when the spirit was poured out upon them, they were empowered and had an unusually strong desire to bear witness to Jesus and the hope he brought for all men:
“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.”
– Acts 2:1-4, 16-18
Though the spirit initially only affected the 120, as others became familiar with the life of Jesus through Peter’s eloquent and bold speech (Acts 2:14-36), they, too, experienced the pouring out of the spirit upon them, including their children and future generations:
“When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
– Acts 2:37-39
Today, we have much more than the words of Peter. We have the gospel accounts, and the apostles’ letters – the ‘meat and potatoes’ of the Bible. And as we come to know the true authentic Jesus, we too can be filled with the Spirit of Truth, poured out once for all time, and be progressively led into all truth.