It’s all about the cross

23 Mar 2022

I was recently asked to share a biblical reflection on the ‘Role of the Holy Spirit in Mission’. What a vast topic. We could discuss at length the role the Holy Spirit plays in sending missionaries, or His role in sustaining God’s people, or about how He enables, leads, encourages, comforts, exhorts and convicts (of sin, righteousness and judgement). We could talk all day about the things Jesus tells His disciples the Holy Spirit will be to them – Jesus says He will be everything Jesus had been to them – Teacher, Guide, Friend, Consoler – with the added benefit that in addition to being with them, as Jesus had been, the Holy Spirit would be in them, and never leave them as Jesus plans to do in Jerusalem.

But, in John chapter 16, Jesus crowns these and other promises about the coming of the Holy Spirit with the words…

“He will glorify Me”

As the incarnate Son had glorified the Father, the Holy Spirit will now glorify the Son. That is, He will focus attention on the character and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the supreme “role” of the Holy Spirit in mission. Jesus says, “He will glorify Me” (John 16:14).

Why is this the crowning role of the Spirit of God? Why not some other ideal? Why not glorify Himself? Because Jesus’ character and work culminates in the cross where Jesus died for the sin of the world.

It’s all about the cross and the One who took our place there.

The theologian FB Meyer observed that…

  • in every believer, Jesus is present
  • in some believers, Jesus is not only present, He is also prominent
  • and in other believers – all too few – Jesus is not only present and prominent, He is also pre-eminent

Jesus’ fame is our motivation as we serve unreached peoples throughout the world; sent, led and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we serve to glorify Jesus, the Saviour of the world. It’s all about the cross.

  • Simon

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