“I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7).
At the time that Jesus spoke the words that are written above, He was the only person on earth who was filled with the Holy Spirit. We can read the accounts of Jesus being filled with the Spirit in each of the Gospels. In this passage, Jesus prophesied an event that was fulfilled when the Holy Spirit was out-poured upon a group of His followers in a Jerusalem upper room on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2).
Empowered by the Holy Spirit, Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom, healed the sick, raised the dead, caused the blind to see, the leper to be cleansed, the demon possessed delivered, and the hungry fed. Though He was fully God, while on this earth, Jesus possessed a body of flesh and bone, like ours, a body that could only be in one place at a time. So, the works of the Holy Spirit, that were done through Jesus were limited to the space that Jesus occupied at a given time.
When Jesus said, “…it is to your advantage that I go away…” He foresaw a miracle in which, those who placed their faith in His saving grace, would be filled with the Holy Spirit, according to the Apostle Paul, the same Holy Spirit who raised Christ from the dead (Romans 8:11). From the Day of Pentecost to this very day, wherever the Children of God in Christ go, the Holy Spirit goes.
This wonder of wonders is spoken of by Gerald Manley Hopkins in his poem As Kingfishers Catch Fire. Listen to the words of the last stanza…
I say more: the just man justices;
Keeps grace: that keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is…Christ.
For Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not His
To the Father through the features of men’s faces.
I can hardly contain myself when I read those words. Though once limited to only the space that He could occupy as a man, Christ now plays in ten thousand places, through lives of those who have been born again. He now walks and sees through limbs and eyes that are not His, but ours. He is seen each day, all around the world in the faces of men and women and boys and girls whose lives have been redeemed by His blood and then filled with His Spirit.
The advantage of which Jesus spoke in John 16, was that His Spirit would go forth to the uttermost parts of the earth in the lives of countless millions of individuals who have surrendered their lives to the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings, Jesus Christ, Savior of the world.