Summary: Another Comforter = another of the same - who re-presents Jesus. He is the One who stands beside us to strengthen and empower.
THE HOLY SPIRIT, THE COMFORTER
This reading is an excerpt from the ‘Upper Room Discourse’ (John 13:31-16:33). John 14 is one of the most well-known, and best loved, chapters in the Bible. It is our purpose here to concentrate on just one, or perhaps two, of the reasons why we need ‘not let our hearts be troubled’ (John 14:1).
I. He has given us the Holy Spirit (John 14:15-17);
II. The Holy Spirit teaches us (John 14:25-26), and helps us to recall, and to apply, what we have learned.
1. The announcement of the coming of the Holy Spirit is made against a background of love and obedience: “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
The person who has Jesus’ commandments, and keeps them, is the one who loves Him (John 14:21). Put another way, if a man loves Jesus, he will keep His words (John 14:23). Those who do not keep the sayings, or ‘word’ of Jesus, which is the ‘word’ of the Father, are those who do not love Him (John 14:24).
According to Jesus, the sum of all commandments is defined by ‘love’ (Matthew 22:37-40). God commands faith in Jesus, and love toward one another (1 John 3:23). ‘Love is the fulfilling of the law’ (Romans 13:10).
2. This passage also provides us with a Trinitarian background for the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Philip asked to see the Father (John 14:8), and Jesus explored with him the inter-relationship of the Father and the Son (John 14:9-14). Then we see Jesus asking the Father, in the assurance that the Father will send the Holy Spirit (John 14:16). The Father does indeed send the Holy Spirit - in Jesus’ name (John 14:26).
It is fair to note here, from the following chapters, that Jesus also says that He will send the Holy Spirit (John 16:7). Jesus will send the Holy Spirit from the Father, and the Holy Spirit will testify of Jesus (John 15:26).
3. The whole subject of the sending of the Holy Spirit is introduced with the answer to Jesus’ prayer: “He shall give you another Comforter” (John 14:16).
The same word is translated ‘Advocate’ in 1 John 2:1, and relates to Jesus. So, Jesus is our representative in the court of heaven, and the Holy Spirit is our Counsellor here in our hearts.
The word also includes the idea of ‘Teacher’ (John 14:26). He is the One who brings to remembrance all that Jesus has taught us.
5. During Jesus’ physical absence, the Holy Spirit is sent to “abide with us” (John 14:16).
It is by Him that the church is enabled to carry on the work of Jesus in the world, doing “greater” or ‘more extensive’ works (John 14:12). The Holy Spirit empowers the church to fulfil the Great Commission (Acts 1:8). It is He who gives us the words to speak when called upon to give an account of our faith (Matthew 10:19-20).
8. The Holy Spirit is known only by Jesus’ people (John 14:17). He ‘remains in permanent dwelling’ in Jesus’ people: and thus, “in you He shall be” (John 14:17). This is what it means to be in the Spirit, and to have the Spirit of God dwelling in us (Romans 8:9).