Summary: Jesus promised his disciples the comfort of the Holy Spirit. It is a promise not only to the disciples, but all Christians throughout time are recipients of this comfort that Jesus has promised to those who love him and obey his gospel.
THE COMFORT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
In this passage of scripture Jesus promises his disciples the comfort of the Holy Spirit. It is a promise not only to the disciples, but all Christians throughout time are recipients of this comfort that Jesus has promised to those who love him and obey his gospel. What is this comfort that we are recipients of in Christ? I think that there are three things that we must understand in order to appreciate the comfort of the Holy Spirit.
1. WE MUST UNDERSTAND THE IDENTITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (verses 16-17a)
What do you think of when you hear the word “comforter”? Most of us think of a big old warm blanket to wrap up in on a cold winter night. Or maybe we think of someone who tries to make us feel better in the midst of difficult times. Really neither of these descriptions are exactly right. The KJV describe the Holy Spirit as “another Comforter” because it comes from the Latin influence in which comforter means, “to come alongside with strength.” I believe that’s much closer to what Jesus had in mind here.
The Holy Spirit is identified as allon parakleton translated “another Counselor” or as the KJV says “another Comforter.” What do you think of when you hear “counselor?” Jesus has much more in mind than just someone who will provide a listening ear and offer advice. Jesus was communicating much more to His disciples than just our modern understanding of counselor or comforter. One translation of the Bible says the Father will send “another Friend.” I really believe this comes a little closer to Jesus intention. The comfort of the Holy Spirit is that you have a real & abiding friend who loves you; a real friend will not abandon you in the midst of difficulty. Like a comforter, a friend will encourage you; a friend will be beside you with strength right when it is needed most. Like a counselor, a friend will take time to listen and hear your deepest woes; a friend will offer you wise advise and provide help with difficult decisions.
( I Pet. 5:7)
COMFORTER, COUNSELOR, FRIEND each of these help us to identify who the Holy Spirit is.
It is of comfort to us when we understand the true identity of this “allon parakleton.” “Allon” is literally another of the same kind. “Parakleton” or PARACLETE is one called alongside as a helper or advocate. So Jesus is really telling us that when we receive the Holy Spirit we get ANOTHER HELPER, COUNSELOR, COMFORTER, OR FRIEND JUST LIKE JESUS.
We receive the comfort of the Holy Spirit when we understand that the comforter is “THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH.” Verse 17 underscores the fact that the Holy Spirit who is with us, is ANOTHER JUST LIKE JESUS. In John 14:6 Jesus had told the disciples that He was the truth. The Holy Spirit is in fact, the “Spirit of Christ” or the Spirit of Jesus” because the Holy Spirit is like Jesus.
Please understand, the Holy Spirit is not the spirit of popular opinion, nor the spirit of deception. Just as Jesus is the truth, the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. Jesus and the Spirit are one!
Therefore, we can have the comfort of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, bringing light and salvation to all those who love Jesus and obey his word.
2. WE MUST UNDERSTAND THE INDWELLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (verses 17b)
The world in which we live doesn’t put much stock in anything that it can’t see or touch or feel. They say it’s not tangible. But the comfort of the Holy Spirit comes when you understand that there is power in that which the world can’t see. Jesus then says in verse 17 - “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 in you.”
That’s the comfort of the Holy Spirit, when you know the spirit of God is dwelling in you!
I Cor. 6:19-20 - Do you not know that your body is a temple 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 body. (NIV)
Eph. 1:13-14 - And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory. (NIV)
Now the world will not put much stock in anything it can’t touch or feel or see, but the child of God can find real comfort in knowing he/she has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as a result of obedience to Christ.