The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth – Wednesday, 6th Week of Easter – Acts 17:15,22-18:1/ John 16:12-15
The farewell discourse that began after the washing of the feet saw several questions from the Disciples. Peter, Thomas, Phillip, Thaddeus….they all had some question or the other. But as the discourse deepens, as the mind of Jesus becomes clear we are told that there are no more questions to ask (John 16:5).
Jesus has made is quite clear that he is going to his father to prepare a place for them all (John 14:3). He promises to ask the father to send the Advocate (John14:16) and promises to not leave them orphaned (John 14:18). All of this is finally taking its toll on the apostles sending them into a tizzy.
Jesus, knowing their hearts desires that they be at peace. He says to them, “peace I give you, my peace I give you.” (John 14:27). Twice in this discourse he will tell them not to be troubled (John 14:1 and John 14:27) asking them to trust in God and trust in him. Yet we know, that in spite of all these words of comfort and assurance they were sorrowful, so sorrowful that Jesus recognises that “sorrow has filled their hearts.” (John 16:6)
It is in this context that the text of today flows. Jesus says that he still has, “many things to say them,” (John 16:12) but clearly, they were not ready for them. Perhaps like the disciples, many of us think we are ready for what we want to hear from the Lord or receive from him, yet the Lord knows that we are not ready because as Jesus says, “you cannot bear them.” (John 16:12)
At the Baptism of children in India it is customary to give the child some ornament in gold. We know that the child is not ready to receive a gold ornament because a child does not know its value nor can the child comprehend what to do with gold and so we hand it over to the parent. Yet, we won’t hesitate to give an older child an ice cream. Children know what to do with an ice cream instinctively.
So, Jesus having dispensed liquid food, enough for them to be nourished, now tells the disciples that he will send the Advocate who will feed them with solids. They are not ready to hear the whole truth now but when the Advocate comes, they will be “guided into ALL the truth.”
The unity and integrity of the Blessed Trinity is seen in these verses for the Holy Spirit is not some fly by wire operator, working on his own but is sent from the father and will speak to us about things past, present and future about the role of the son and the mission of the son. Jesus addresses the Advocate as the “spirit of truth” that will reveal “all truth.”
The Holy Spirit is bound by this mission of truth, to reveal THE TRUTH, and this ‘THE TRUTH’ is Jesus himself. Jesus had declared when answering Thomas, “I am the way, THE TRUTH and the life.” We are assured that when the spirit of truth (The Holy spirit), sent by the father to reveal the son Jesus, we who are children of the light, will receive the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.