Our Lord said in the gospel: “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth”.
One of the primary works of the Holy Spirit is to bring God’s truth to us. The special name of this bringing of God’s truth to us is “revelation”.
Revelation is bound to be a progressive process. Our understanding of it has to develop and grow into maturity.
Christ knew many things which he could not tell his disciples because they were not yet able to receive them. It is only possible to tell a person as much as they can understand.
For example, no teacher will start with a differential equation of integral calculus when he wishes to teach a student algebra; and no teacher will start with difficult passages when teaching Greek to a beginner. They will always start with the easy and simple things. God’s revelation to the human race is like that.
In the Old Testament there are many passages which call for the wiping out of men and women and children when an enemy city is taken. At that stage they grasped the fact that the purity of their religion must be safeguarded, but they wished to preserve that purity by destroying the heathen. When Christ came , people come to see that the way to preserve that purity is to convert the heathen.
The people of the Old Testament times had grasped a great truth, but only one side of it. Revelation has to be that way; God can reveal only as much as we can understand.
God’s revelation to humankind is a revelation of all truth. It is not a monopoly of theologians and preachers alone.
When a scientist discovers something which will help the worlds toil and make life better for the human family, when someone discovers a new treatment which will bring life and hope to suffering humanity, that is revelation from God.
All truth is God’s truth, and the revelation of all truth is the work of the Holy Spirit. It is not something we create; it is something already waiting to be discovered. It is like a treasure hidden in a field that someone found.
Revelation is the continual opening out of the meaning of Christ. Christ has yet many things to say to us, but we cannot bear them now for we are still as babes. We are fed with milk not with solid food. For we are still of the flesh.
But the nearer we attain to mature humanity to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, the better we will know him. The more we become like him, the more he will be able to tell us.