Speaking Of Life 5025 │ Not An Orphan
When I was growing up, I remember reading several books that had an orphan as the main character. Maybe you did, too. Remember Cinderella, Anne of Green Gables, and even Harry Potter? The children in these stories were left without parents, and their plots revolved around how well they fit into another family’s dynamic. Often, they felt like outsiders – unwanted and alone.
At the Last Supper, Jesus tried to prepare his disciples for what was coming: his betrayal, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. He reassured them that while things would be different without him present, they would not be alone. Let’s look at John 14:
If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This 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.
I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.
John 14:15-20 (NRSVUE)
Notice that Jesus refers to “another Advocate,” the “Spirit of Truth,” who would always be with the disciples. Jesus was their first Advocate; now the Holy Spirit would be another companion who would always be with them. The Spirit’s goal is not to replace Jesus, but to share the presence of the Father and the risen Son to those who trusted them.
Since the Bible often refers to people as the “children of God,” it makes sense that Jesus would use the word “orphaned.” We’ll have the constant companionship of the Holy Spirit, and because of the triune relationship of Father, Son, and Spirit, we’re brought into their fellowship. We’re not like Cinderella who was mistreated and forced to become a servant. Instead, we’re welcomed into the family of God as cherished members, never to be left on our own again.
By sharing with the disciples about the Spirit of Truth, Jesus is telling them that life will go on after the heartbreak of the crucifixion. He says, “You will see me; because I live, you also will live.”
The resurrection was not the end of the story but the very beginning, thanks to the Spirit of Truth who will never leave us as orphans. May you know how completely you’re loved and accepted by the Father, Son, and Spirit, and may you trust that you’re never alone.
I’m Michelle Fleming, Speaking of Life.