When our Lord gave His disciples this last sermon just before His arrest and crucifixion, the Holy Spirit could only be given to the Jews who were the people of God then. During the three years of instructions and teachings by our Lord Himself, the disciples were not able to understand nor accept them for firstly they did not have the Holy Spirit and secondly most of them were fishermen and unlearned.
Mark 10:32b-34 Then He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them the things that would happen to Him: “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.”
Many times our Lord Jesus clearly told His disciples that He would be betrayed (by Judas), scourged and killed and on the third day He would resurrect but they refused to accept it. They could not accept His death for they wanted Him to be glorified as the King of Israel so that they would rule with Him. The disciples gave up everything for the wrong motive of earthly rewards in riches, positions and power.
Mark 10:36-37,41 And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?” They said to Him, “Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.”... And when the ten heard it, they began to be greatly displeased with James and John.
Mark 16:9-13 Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons. She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe. After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country. And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either.
After the resurrection of our Lord, the disciples did not believe the testimonies of Mary and the two other disciples for they were so disappointed and sad for their dreams of ruling with King Jesus on earth were over.
How then can we expect those worldly disciples (without the Holy Spirit then) to accept teachings such as:
- Consider others better than yourself,
- Love your enemies,
- Bless those who curse you,
- Give to the needy brethren without any repayment, but most of all, brethren, we are to love one another as Jesus had loved us. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. (1John 3:14-16)