John brings in verse 15 together the Father, Jesus and the Spirit of truth. And he says something about their relationships.
“All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he [the Spirit] will take what is mine and declare it to you”.
There are many questions that this text raises. What are these things that the disciples then could not bear? How can the Spirit “take” from what the Father and Christ own in common to declare it? Why would the Spirit declare things that God “has”. What kind of things do the Father and Jesus own together?
Clearly John writes long before the Church discusses: persons, substance and processions to talk about the relationships between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I would suggest that we preach long after these terms have any power to make sense. Therefore I do not think that the full truth that the Spirit since has guided us in is in some way restricted to the official doctrines of the Church including the doctrine of the Trinity.
The central sense in the few verses from John is that the Spirit will “glorify” Jesus, to honour him. Interestingly this glorifying seems to be mutual. Jesus does it to the Spirit and the Father in the way he talks of them. There is a relationship of mutual honour in which we are invited to participate. Bless the Lord, oh my Soul.
22 May 2016
This weekly blog on one of the lectionary readings is by Anne Claar Thomasson-Rosingh, Programme Leader for Lifelong Learning at Sarum College.