“But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you sorrow has filled your heart. But 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 16:5-7).
As Jesus spoke to His disciples about the coming of the Holy Spirit, He told them that the Holy Spirit would be of more advantage to them than He had personally been for the past three years. I am sure that it sounded ludicrous to them because it sounds ludicrous to us. To trade in the real flesh and blood presence of Jesus for this one He called the Helper? What could be better than having Jesus personally present?
The disciples experienced two major disadvantages during Jesus’ earthly life, which would be overcome by the coming of the Spirit. One, while Jesus walked this earth, His presence was localized. If Jesus was on the mountain and the disciples were in a boat on Galilee, they could not enjoy uninterrupted fellowship. Jesus presence was limited to the space that His earthly body occupied. Two, when Jesus walked with His disciples His presence was outside of them. He could not change them from within. He could not get at the source of their thoughts, motives, and desires. Through the presence of the coming of the Holy Spirit, Jesus would then live within them. They would become His new temple.
When Jesus walked on the earth, He was the only one filled with the Holy Spirit and because He occupied a material body of flesh and bone, He could only be in one place at any given time. Following the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, the presence of Jesus left the city square in over 3,000 people. And every time another was born again the presence of Jesus was then manifested in them through the indwelling Spirit. Today, untold millions of believers are filled with the Holy Spirit and therefore making Jesus presence real on every continent of the globe, multiplying exponentially the presence of Jesus in our world.