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John 16:4b-15, The Work of the Spirit

Thursday, March 22

The Gift of Not Knowing

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

the gift of not knowing

Jesus was preparing his disciples for a painful separation. He told them a lot. But he didn't tell them everything. How could he? How could they possibly understand what he would tell them? How could they wrap their heads around the truth that is perplexing, even today when we know what happened next?

But Jesus told them enough. He told them what they needed to know. The rest they would find out for themselves when the time was right. 

We live in a world where knowledge is everything. People who know how to make money make money. You wanna know something -- Google it. There is talk of moving the education system from a 9-month cycle to a 12-month cycle so kids don't lose what they've learned. College students are in deeper debt now than ever, and for what? Knowledge.

But Jesus knew that knowledge was critical to his mission. But he also knew that there were times to wait for knowledge to unfold in its own time. He knew that experience could be a more powerful teacher than words. I've learned this as a parent -- my kids learned far more from making terrible decisions than they ever would from my preventing them from making those decisions. It's hard sometimes to let others learn from their experiences when we know better. It's also hard to be patient when we need to learn from our own experiences in due time. But sometimes the waiting, the stillness, the lack of knowledge can be a wonderful gift.

Narrative Lectionary Text: John 16:4b-15

“I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts.

"Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned. 

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you."