While speaking to the disciples at the Last Supper, Jesus informs them that he has not told
them all the information he has for them. In fact, Jesus says he has “much more to say,”
but he also tells them it is “more than you can now bear,” so they will have to hear it at
a later time when they are ready.
The word “bear” that is used when Jesus tells the disciples that the things he has yet to say are “more than you can now bear,” is bastadzo in the Greek. Bastadzo is used by John to refer
to picking up stones in 10:31 and to carrying a burden (the cross) in 19:17. Paul uses bastadzo
to refer to enduring things that are a burden in Galatians 6:2 such as bearing Christ’s name in
Acts 9:15. Jesus is not referring to the disciples bearing stones, burdens, crosses or his name,
but instead is referring to their lack of ability to bear his words. It would seem that Jesus would
like to give them more information and explain in greater detail what is occurring historically at
that time and how it all fits in with God’s plan, but the disciples cannot “bear,” or “handle,” or “understand” his words.
Jesus then shares his plan to overcome the disciple’s inability to understand his teaching.
Jesus says that when the Spirit of truth comes he (the Spriit of Truth) will guide the disciples into
all truth. The word “guide” is a word that refers to a guide introducing a traveler to an unknown land. The third member of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, will come to the disciples to empower their ability
to understand (or “bear”) the truth, but also, the Holy Spirit will come to be a spokesman for Jesus. The Spirit “will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears.” The Spirit will not bring his own information, but will empower the disciples to “bear” Jesus’ information. Jesus is the “word"; the Spirit is the “revealer.”
Jesus says the Spirit of Truth (Holy Spirit) also “will tell you what is yet to come.” What does this mean? Does it mean the Spirit will serve in a prophetic role predicting future events for the disciples? Or, does it mean that once the disciples are empowered with the Spirit, then Jesus will share with them the words that they at the present time cannot “bear.” This second interpretation would indicate that “what is yet to come” is the rest of Jesus’ words and teaching that the disciples cannot bear at the time of the Last Supper.
It may be best to understand “what is yet to come” as the rest of the Christian doctrine and the instruction received in the form of the apostolic teaching recorded in Acts and the Epistles. Of course, any student of Scripture will observe that within this Apostolic teaching is eschatological insight and information concerning things that are “yet to come” as future events.
One of the spiritual blessings of our inheritance as believers in Christ is the presence of the Holy Spirit who empowers us in order that we might understand our glorious inheritance and God’s incomparably great power for us who believe.” (Ephesians 1:18-19)
“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” – Ephesians 1:17-19