“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you” (John 16:7).
First, the Son’s departure came via the cross which was necessary for salvation. For the work of salvation to be complete, Christ had to leave this world. If He didn’t, His words on the cross, “It is finished” (John 19:30) would be a lie; nothing would be finished. His work would be incomplete and therefore salvation would not be attained for any of us. Read carefully how Paul states this truth in Galatians 4:4-6, “…God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Galatians 4:4-5) Now watch this – after Christ’s adoption was complete. “And because you are sons, God has sent for the Spirit of His Son in to your hearts…” (Galatians 4:6). This sending of the Holy Spirit could only be done once the Son left the world after the work on the cross.
Second, the Holy Spirit can be in all places at all times; the Son – in human form – could only be in one place at one time. This is significant because the disciples would be scattered all over the world. They would not all be able to be with the Son for personal encouragement and guidance. However, the Holy Spirit can be everywhere, because He would be indwelling them.
Third, because of the Holy Spirit’s arrival, the disciples could now do greater works than Jesus (John 14:12). The word “greater” doesn’t mean “better”; it means “more extensive.” The ministry was to be “greater” in its extent or the number of people reached. For example, the ministry of the Son would go outside of Palestine which hadn’t taken place during Jesus’ life; that would not be the case with the disciples spreading the Gospel throughout the known world unto all nations (Acts 1:8). Their works would be greater in the number of conversions, further miracles and the recording of the N.T.
Fourth, if Son remained on earth in bodily form, there would have been no room for the exercise of the disciples’ faith. By the Son’s absence, the disciples would become twice the men they were called to become. In summary: they would grow in their faith by trusting what He said was true. In this time of waiting, their faith would increase.
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