Limits



Limits. Jesus could not tell the disciples everything, because they were still too resistant to what He was already saying. But, in sending the Holy Spirit to them, He knew He could continue to instruct them all the days of their lives.


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12. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
13. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
14. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
15. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

(John 16:12-15, King James Version)



Limits


Why did Jesus not tell the disciples everything? He knew that they only ready to receive a little at this time.


This is an amazing principle taught in these few verses from John 16, We would do well to incorporate this into our own lives. Jesus knew that the disciples could only handle so much information at one time. They were greatly influenced by their upbringing in the Jewish faith; so much so, in fact, that they wrestled with Jesus truly being the Messiah. After all, He did not appear to be ready to take over the Roman Empire and set up His own kingdom on earth as they expected of the Messiah.


When trying to persuade others, we must remember that we need to be careful that we do not push "knowledge overload" onto our listeners. Actually, even more than knowledge overload, we must realize that people do not like being pushed; they have limits as to what they are ready to hear.


I have observed my teenagers grow up and leave home. They left knowing everything, or so they thought. Yet, only a year later, they came back with a sense of appreciation for us that they had never had. We could have ruined that potential breakthrough in our relationship by pushing them beyond what they were willing to hear while still at home.


My sister used to have this wonderful saying. "Remember, you are not raising kids, you are raising adults." As adults, how well do we take correction from others? Knowing how hard it is, we need to be careful to not give more to our teens (or listeners) than they are ready to hear. They may leave home, but if they have a good relationship with us, they will be back in a much more receptive manner.


Jesus could not tell the disciples everything, because they were still too resistant to what He was already saying. But, in sending the Holy Spirit to them, He knew He could continue to instruct them all the days of their lives.


What an amazing Lord we have. By living on this earth as a human, He understands our hearts and intercedes for us before God, the Father. We can only receive so much information at one time, but as we grow in Christ, those limits will decrease more and more.


Remember the limits of your audience; you will reach far more people by waiting until they are ready to hear what you have to say. Always leave your audience willing to hear more at a later time, when they are ready.


Next: A Little While - John 16:16-22



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Limits

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