John 14:26

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
 John 14:26
Before he came, he knew he would be leaving. And because of his love for the disciples, Jesus spent much time preparing them for his departure. Even before the last supper, he foretold his death and predicted his betrayal. He knew the cross was coming soon, and his time to lead, teach, and counsel his precious disciples was coming to an end. In John chapter 14, he offers comfort to his friends by giving them a picture of heaven, one of a house with many rooms, and his plan to prepare a specific place for them to be with him. In verse 18 he assures them he will not leave them as orphans, but rather will come to them.
 
He knew they would struggle. Their closest, wise, loving friend, teacher and master was leaving to go to a place they did not know and could not comprehend. Jesus had been the disciples’ rabbi and teacher.  He was their priest and soon to be their sacrifice. Jesus knew it would be better for his followers, even best, if he went away, and something - no someone - would soon actually reside within their hearts. It was the Holy Spirit.
 
The Greek word for Holy Spirit is ‘paraclete’ and it can be translated as comforter, counselor, advocate, and helper. The Phillips translation names the Holy Spirit as ‘the one who is coming to stand by you’. Jesus himself was the initial paraclete, helping and teaching, but the Holy Spirit was to fill the void that Jesus would leave with an interior presence. The Helper would never leave the believer, but rather always remain, to guide and instruct.
 
Knowing that his disciples would experience suffering, torture, beatings, and even be called to stand in court, he promised the Holy Spirit would provide all they needed. Never before had men been inhabited with the Spirit of God. Not a new thought to God, it was always his plan to indwell believers. He recognized the necessity for a comforter, a teacher, ‘someone who stands beside us’ at all times, still teaching us and reminding us of his ways and his heart for the world.
 
It is grace to us that Jesus, our priest, savior, and teacher came to us, but did not leave us to ourselves. Jesus knew that the Holy Spirit would be exactly what we would need. This is grace to us.
 
Questions for reflection:

  1.  Had you thought of Jesus fulfilling the role of priest and sacrifice?
  2.  Which of the words describing the Holy Spirit resonate with you?
  3.  Thank God now for the gift of the helper who continues to teach and guide us.
Linda Miller | Ministry Development

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