Lesson 8 – God is with Us as the Holy Spirit
The Gospel of John is centered on two concepts.
The first is the incarnation; the belief that Jesus was God in the flesh; that Jesus was God with us. What we need to realize about this concept is that it was not something that the disciples understood during his lifetime. We see this in the 14th chapter when Philip says to Jesus, “Lord, show us the Father and we will be satisfied.” The realization that Jesus was the Word made flesh was slow in coming and was not even officially recognized until around 325 CE.
The second concept is that of the Spirit. The Spirit in John has a life of its own. We see this in John 1:32 where John the Baptist claims to have seen the Spirit come down and remain on Jesus; in John 3:5-8 where the Spirit is the one who gives new spiritual birth to whomever it wills: in John 15:26 the Spirit will testify about Jesus; in John 16:13-15 the Spirit will lead people into truth by transmitting only what it hears from Jesus; and in John 20:22 the Spirit is given to the believers (after Jesus’ resurrection).
The way these two concepts function together is that God is in Jesus and Jesus is in the Spirit and the Spirit is in us. Thus, what God tells Jesus, Jesus tells the Spirit and the Spirit tells us. This allows us to live and worship in Spirit and in Truth. This is why Jesus can say that no one comes to the Father except through him (Jesus) because he is the connector to humanity.
Reflections on the Lesson