Let’s set the stage with John 14:25–26: “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”
Jesus, in those two verses, is answering the question, How shall there now be foundational documents for the church, like the Old Testament had its foundational documents? How shall there now be foundational — enduring over hundreds of years — documents that are rock-solid, reliable for us to stand on? How can that be? Jesus is going away. He won’t be talking anymore. It’s his word that’s been the key to everything. We don’t understand anything unless Jesus talks to us and explains things to us. He’s leaving and we’re not there yet. We’re asking stupid questions — even now. What are we going to do? Do you expect us to lead a world movement and build the church when we can’t even understand what’s happening tonight?
“Be amazed that you have a Bible. Be amazed that you have the word of God.”
And Jesus’s answer is, “I’m not going to leave you without help. I’m going to send the Holy Spirit. He’s coming in my name. I understand you don’t have any video recorders, and you don’t have any stenographers. Nobody’s sitting with a pen and pad at the Lord’s Supper, and you don’t have any tape machines or iPhones with little record buttons. I understand that, and I’m going to come by the Spirit, and I’m going to cause you to remember everything you need to remember — everything I want the church to know. And I’m going to teach you the meaning of all those things so that you can give a true rendering of what you remember. That’s what I’m going to do.”
Jesus is doing here for the New Testament what Paul did in 2 Timothy 3:16–17 for the Old Testament. We know in the context it’s Old Testament Scripture. The New Testament hasn’t been written yet. So all the writings — all the Old Testament — “is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
So this massive apostolic statement is saying just what Jesus said about the Old Testament: It’s God-breathed. That’s why we can stand on it. That’s why it has endured. That’s why the Jewish people have become the seed for Christ.
Now Jesus reckons with the problem. This is a new day, this is a new age, this is a new people. The Old Testament won’t suffice. It’s true and it’s a great place to stand. We love it, but we need something more for the church — something that’s all about you, Jesus, and all about what you have done and are doing and will do. And he said, “I’ve got that covered.” And that’s what this verse is. John 14:26, “In my name, God the Father will send the Holy Spirit. He will bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you, and he will teach you all things.”
If he’s going to bring something to memory, it means they had to have seen it and experienced it. He didn’t say, “I’m going to send the Holy Spirit and give you a rich creativity.” Rather, he’s saying, “I have chosen apostles. I’ve spoken into them. I have done things in front of them. That’s what I’m going to show you. I’m going to bring that back to you, and as I bring it back to you, I’m going to teach you everything.” And what everything means there is not quantum physics. This is everything you need to know to make sense out of this for the church. “I won’t let anything be lacking in your mind as you write your authoritative letters and Gospels for my church. I won’t let anything be lacking that my church needs to be what I call them to be.”
So Jesus is doing for the New Testament in John 14:26 what Paul did for the Old Testament in 2 Timothy 3:16. Paul testified about the inspiration of the Old Testament. Jesus is promising the inspiration of the New Testament. This is the self-consciousness of the apostles later — later when you read: you, Paul. Listen to the way Paul thinks about himself as a spokesman for the risen Christ in the church in 1 Corinthians 2:12–13: “Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God.” So Jesus did what he said he was going to do: send the Holy Spirit in his name. We have received him, “that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit.”
We now have two parts of our book. The first part was inspired for its day in all of its particularities. And the second part was inspired for our day in all of its particularities. We have a great God-given book, and that’s a great foundation that Jesus is laying here.
“Open my eyes that I may see wonders out of Your Word.”
“The Father will send the Holy Spirit. He will bring to your memory what the church needs to know about the historical realities of my teaching, my miracles, my death, my resurrection, my appearances, and the foundation of my church by the Holy Spirit. I’m going to bring all that to your memory, so that John, writing decades later, is filled with the Holy Spirit and is getting things right. And I am going to teach you all the things you need as you put together the pieces of your memory for the sake of the church.”
Now the stage is set, and years later, John is remembering as he writes his Gospel. He’s being taught by the Holy Spirit as he writes the Gospel of John. There’s inspired memory, inspired teaching, and he’s devoting it in order that you might have peace and joy and faith. That’s why the deposit was left. It wasn’t just for the followers that night, but for us too.
Be amazed that you have a Bible. Be amazed that you have the word of God. Be stunned. Get up in the morning and hold this and weep for joy. Be amazed that God spoke. And then open it and be expectant that the same Spirit who came and brought to memory and taught, so that the words are inspired, will now make them illumined for you. He won’t leave you dense and stupid and blind — not if you call out and say, “O God, I love your word. Open my eyes that I may see wonders out of your word.” It is amazing that we have such a book.