Monday, October 6, 2014

A holy promise

Our passage today is John 14: 16-20:
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[c] in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.

Let's try again to put ourselves into the disciples' shoes (er, sandals) and feel what they are feeling here . . .  Jesus has just made a pretty devastating announcement to them -- He is going away. But even as they are digesting this news, He is telling them not to be alarmed. Can you imagine the thoughts in their heads? "What? But you are going away, Master!" "How can we not be upset, and worried?"

Jesus gently answers those questions. Another comforter is coming. He promises that to them.  Let's dive in!

Sometimes when we look at the translations and meanings of words, we can get a better flavor of the verses, and understand them more fully. Let's try that here, OK?
A comforter is coming . . . the Greek word for comforter is "parakleton" and it means "one called alongside." It carries the meaning of someone who is called alongside for protection, or for counsel. The same word is also translated as "advocate" in I John 2:1.

                  My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if
                  anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ,
                 the Righteous One.

So, a comforter is one who comes alongside us, offers us protection and wise counsel, and also is an advocate for us.
Let's look back at the verses again . . . the word "another" is "allon" which is translated "another of the same kind." (To make it more clear, there is another Greek word "heteros" which is translated "another of a different kind.") So Jesus is very carefully choosing His words here, and the translators are doing their dead-level best to give us just what He said. Jesus was one comforter, right? He definitely comes alongside us, actually is indwelling us when we accept His mercy and grace. He does protect us, and He counsels us, too (if we will listen). And He is now our advocate in heaven. He goes before God on our behalf and says, "Father, I know they are sinners, but they have repented and My blood has cleansed them. They belong to Me." (I really feel like praising right about now!)

So the Holy Spirit is another comforter -- another of the same kind.
The Holy Spirit would be an invisible comforter, as far as the world was concerned.

                  And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter,
                  that He may abide with you forever; even the spirit of truth; whom the
                 world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knows Him:
                 but you know Him, for He dwells with you, and shall be in you. (v 16-17)

So, earthly fellowship with Jesus was about to be severed. Terminated. But the Holy Spirit would come to abide with us forever. What is the common philosophy of the world? Seeing is believing! How many times have you heard someone say, "I'll believe it when I see it!" So unsaved individuals can't know the Spirit of God.  Yes, He is real, but to them He is invisible.
The Holy Spirit comes to take up permanent residence in a believer's heart and life. The body of a believer then becomes vitally important -- it is now the temple of the Holy Spirit.

               Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who
               is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
               you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
               (II Corinthians 6:19-20)

This holy promise from Jesus is being lived out in our lives when we trust Him to save us from our sins and advocate for us with the Father.
Let's work our way further along next time!

1 comment:

Belinda said...

I'm so thankful that the Holy Spirit intercedes for me constantly. And when I don't know what to pray, or can't pray, He does.

I'm reminded of that old song that goes:

Breathe on me, breathe on me,
Holy Spirit, breathe on me;
Take Thou my heart, cleanse every part,
Holy Spirit, breathe on me.