MAKING THE GRADE WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Day of Pentecost
Analysis by Mark Marius
8Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” 9Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. 12Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.
15If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 17This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
25I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
Step 1: Initial Diagnosis (External Problem) : Insatiable
We all are unfulfilled in some way. And our wanting and perceived deficiencies seem to keep us searching. Even with everything we are given we are always seeking more. Or seeking something else to fill our void. And we don’t always fill ourselves with what we should. We have a hard time convincing ourselves that what we have is enough. Even when that is Jesus.
Step 2: Advanced Diagnosis (Internal Problem) : Incredulous
We are slow to trust and believe. Not only do we doubt, but because we doubt we seek proof, continual proof. We need verification that Jesus is truly operating from God. We want proof that God indeed loves us and accepts us as we are. The world continually lets us down. The “News” is proof of that because rarely is it even good news. We even demand explanation from miracles.
Step 3: Final Diagnosis (Eternal Problem) : Incapable
We are incapable of God’s work because of our incredulity and the fact that we often seek satisfaction from other sources. Our inability to act troubles our hearts. And a troubled heart is one that is paralyzed with fear. Living in fear is in direct opposition to walking by faith. And without faith in God we abandon him and find ourselves completely isolated, vulnerable, and without hope.
PROGNOSIS: Straight A’s
Step 4: Initial Prognosis (Eternal Solution) : Accomplished
Jesus goes to work on our behalf. He completes what we can’t. He trusts God while we doubt. He speaks God’s truth because we fail to embrace it. And Jesus let’s that truth kill him to accomplish salvation for the world. Jesus settles the score required by God and is given an “A”—his Arising to new life. This is the work that he shares with the whole world (John 3:16). We have finally made the grade through the grace of Christ.
Step 5: Advanced Prognosis (Internal Solution) : Affirming
And through the Holy Sacraments God Affirms divine truth for us. We are forever bathed in grace, and clothed in forgiveness. It is here where the Holy Spirit has come to Abide (dwell) in us (v. 10), Affording us the truth we so desperately need for our lives. The Holy Spirit is what gives us the capacity to believe and trust. As well as the power to Act (v. 12).
Step 6: Final Prognosis (External Solution) : Abundance
And because of this Advocate we no longer worry about making the grade because we don’t worry about being right or wrong. We have been freed to Accept that Christ has done it all for us. Trusting this compels us to Accompany the Holy Spirit, where ever we are blown because we go with God’s peace. and God’s peace is Abundant, Allowing us to Allocate it to others. We fill others with what they are lacking—the Good News.