LÖHE ON JOHN 16:12-13

Pentecost“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.”  (Joh 16:12-13 NIV)

There are things in life that promote and advance the mature Christians giving them wings to sour high above this time and world to heaven. However these very things may be a burden too heavy and bulky for those who are still young and childlike in their faith. Our dear Lord and savior indicates to his disciples that they are but in the beginning stages of their faith and in the knowledge of truth and the ongoing pilgrim with him. That is why he does not want to leave them behind as helpless orphans. Rather he will send and provide the comforter, the Spirit of truth to lead and teach them.

The Lord describes the truth as a wide landscape full of treasures and glories riches – a heavenly paradise. The disciples of the Lord are like pilgrims, who proceed further and deeper into his good world and way enjoying his fruits, gifts and treasures. Their guide on this blessed progression is the Spirit of knowledge and truth. Firstly he teaches the disciples to grasp the words and deeds of their master, then his suffering, dying, resurrection and glorification. He leads them in the divine truth and opens up the mysteries of God to them so that they now realize the truths that their Lord and master had shown, told and taught them. By this spiritual grace these truths  become a never-ending source and stream of godly enlightenment for the disciples granting them even insight in the things to come.

Thus he also does with us. He leads us firstly into those things that  the apostles saw and heard in the gospels, then in the acts of the apostles and in their epistles. This is the revelation of his blooming, flourishing and fruit-bearing tree of life, granting knowledge of the highs and lows, depths and summits, widths and breadths of his most divine plan for our eternal salvation.

Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord! Be all Thy graces now outpoured On each believer’s mind and heart; Thy fervent love to them impart. Lord, by the brightness of Thy light Thou in the faith dost men unite Of every land and every tongue; This to Thy praise, O Lord, our God, be sung. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Thou holy Light, Guide divine, Oh, cause the Word of Life to shine! Teach us to know our God aright And call Him Father with delight. From every error keep us free; Let none but Christ our Master be That we in living faith abide, In Him, our Lord, with all our might confide. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Thou holy Fire, Comfort true, Grant us the will Thy work to do And in Thy service to abide; Let trials turn us not aside. Lord, by Thy power prepare each heart And to our weakness strength impart That bravely here we may contend, Through life and death to Thee, our Lord, ascend. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! (Martin Luther, 1483-1546)

This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Thursday after the fourth Sunday after Easter: Cantate. It is found on Pg. 191 in Lob sei Dir ewig, o Jesu!   (Eternal Praise to you o Jesus!) edited by A. Schuster and published in the Freimund Verlag, Neuendettelsau 1949

About Wilhelm Weber

Pastor at the Old Latin School in the Lutherstadt Wittenberg
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