Friday DIVE – 10May2024


One of my favourite passages is John 14:20 … so you can imagine my joy when I saw that it was a kind of keynote passage in the lead article for the May ’24 edition of The GCI Equipper.  Lets’s look at what it says …

  • John 14:20 (NKJV)  At that day you will know that am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you …  
  • John 14:20 (YLT) in that day ye shall know that I [am] in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you;
      • Note that there are four (4) occurences of the word “in” in that verse, which agrees with the case in the Greek manuscript, as you can confirm by clicking here.

Usually, my focus is on the “you in me” portion … because it speaks to the inclusive nature of the Incarnation.

On this occasion, however, I want to focus on the first phrase, with the first “in” ….

Which day was Jesus referring to?  When would the disciples realize that they were in Him and that He was in them?

  • Some have said His crucifixion.
  • Some have said on the day of His resurrection.
  • Others have said Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit arrived.

I am one of those who believe “that day” was Pentecost.  And the lead article in the May ’24 Equipper seems to suggest that, as well.  Let’s read it and see why I say that.



Pentecost – Jesus’ First Return

In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.  John 14:20 ESV


I spent most of my life praying for Jesus to return and ignoring the truth that he already did in a very real way.  Now before you think I’m changing doctrine, please understand I’m not addressing his glorious return, I’m referring to the fulfillment of his promise that he would always be with us. (All passages from ESV).

  • Matthew 28:20 – “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
  • John 14:18 – “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”
  • Matthew 18:20 – “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am among them.”
  • Hebrews 13:5 – “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

The disciples must have pondered these words as they watched Jesus ascend into the clouds.  As they stared up, two men in white robes told them he was going to return in the same way he departed.  We still await this glorious return.  Because of his promises, it is safe to bet the disciples believed Jesus was going to return quite soon – and the promise from the Father that he told them to wait for in Jerusalem might just be Jesus returning.  It was the promise, and he did return, just not in the manner they expected.  And that brings us to Pentecost.

The Pentecost event brought clarity to much of what Jesus had taught the disciples, and especially what he taught them in the Upper Room just before his arrest, trial, and crucifixion.  He told them he was going to send “another helper.”

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him.  You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.  I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.  Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me.  Because I live, you also will live.  In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.  (John 14:16-20 ESV)

This helper dwells with us and is in us.  This helper is the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is God.  The Father is God.  The Son is God.  God is Father, Son, and Spirit in us, among us, with us.  Jesus said, “In that day you will know what I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.”  Jesus, the Word who was with God and is God, became flesh and dwelled among us, died, was resurrected, ascended, and now lives in us through the Holy Spirit.  You can call this his first return, but in reality, it is not as much a return as it is a continuation of the promise that David and Isaiah understood.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4 ESV)

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous hand. (Isaiah 41:10 ESV)

Pentecost reminds us that God made his promise known in a very real way.  The Holy Spirit came like a mighty wind, danced like flames of fire, and revealed himself through spiritual gifts.  The disciples came to understood that Jesus had returned to not just walk with them, but to live in them through the Holy Spirit, enabling them to continue the work he started with them.  They held onto his promise to be with them always.

Jesus lives in you for the same reason.  He has invited you to join him in continuing the work he started with the disciples and established with the church on Pentecost.  As we head into Pentecost 2024, followed by Ordinary Time, I recommend reading John 14-17 and reflecting on how Jesus lives in us through the Holy Spirit and what it means that he will be with you always.

So thankful for Christ living in me,

Rick Shallenberger

P.S. Beginning next month in the June 2024 Equipper, the lead articles will be written by our GCI Superintendents.  This has been part of a long-range plan by President Greg Williams and me to give Equipper a stronger international presence, and to give a broader voice to our superintendents.  You will also see more support articles written by international leaders.  As I head toward retirement, it is a pleasure to decrease and watch others increase.  I am excited about the future of Equipper.



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