Help!  I Need Somebody…

Posted: November 2, 2015 in John

John 14:15-18, “Help!  I Need Somebody…”

When was the last time you cried out for help?  There are times that we’re in a bit of a bind, and just need a bit of help to get through the issue.  There are other times that we either get help, or we have no hope.  It’s the difference between getting stranded on the side of the road & being stranded in the middle of the ocean.  One is doable; the other is desperate.

When it comes to our spiritual walk with God, our situation is desperate.  Without true help, living it is absolutely impossible.  We might understand this when it comes to our initial salvation.  After all, the Bible says we are dead in our transgressions, and that we are hopelessly lost in our sin, unable to save ourselves.  We are truly desperate to be saved, and that’s why we both run & cling to Jesus in faith.  Because of His work at the cross & resurrection, we can be saved.  We know we are desperate for His help, so we know to go to Him in faith.

But what about after we get saved?  What about after that initial moment that we’re born again, and we begin walking with the Lord Jesus in faith?  Can we do the things He commanded us?  Can we truly obey Him as we ought?  Not without help, we can’t!  Even here, it’s a matter of desperate need.  As believers, it’s not that we can go most of the way on our own, just needing a little bit of help to get across the finish line.  No – we need help all along the way.  We can’t even get moving without the help of God.  It is impossible to live the Christian life without Him.  (BTW, this is one area where ritualistic religion gets it wrong.  When people trust in religion, their focus is on what they can do for God.  In reality, we can do nothing – not apart from God’s help and grace.  We are completely reliant upon Him from start to finish.)

It’s with this in mind that we can look at Jesus’ promise of a Helper.  Jesus had made it clear that He was leaving.  With the disciples beginning to realize their own inadequacies, they were no doubt fearful how they would face the coming days.  They knew that they were not up for the task on their own…and if they didn’t, Jesus did.  If it’s impossible for us to live as the Church apart from the grace of God, imagine how much more when it came to establishing the Church.  The disciples would need help, and that’s exactly what Jesus promised.

Let’s remember our context.  Chronologically, we’re still in the evening of the Last Supper.  Judas has left to betray Jesus, and Peter has been prophesied to deny Jesus prior to daybreak.  For what would normally have been a joyous celebration of the Passover, the disciples were truly (and understandably) disturbed.  It was at the sight of His friends’ troubled look that Jesus offered words of comfort.  Yes, He was going away, but that wouldn’t be the end.  They needed to hold on by faith.  They could (1) believe in Jesus as God, (2) believe that Jesus was coming back for them, (3) believe that Jesus is the only way to the Father, and (4) believe that Jesus is one with the Father.  As they held on by faith, they would know the Father as they knew Jesus, and they would do the works of Jesus – even better works!  Jesus would continue to be active in the lives of His disciples, honoring the prayer requests they humbly offered in His name for the glory of God.

Not only would Jesus be active from afar, but He would send another to be active up-close.  This is the first of several teachings of the Holy Spirit that Jesus gives during the Upper Room Discourse.  The Holy Spirit would come, being similar to Jesus in the lives of the disciples, empowering them to do the work Jesus had given them to do.  The Spirit would be with them, and they could trust He would always be with them – just like Jesus..

God never calls us to do something, without equipping us for the task.  The way He equips us is through a Person – a Helper – through God the Holy Spirit Himself.  Hold fast to the Spirit while you hold fast to Christ.

John 14:15–18

15. If you love Me, keep My commandments.

  1. “If’s” are important in Scripture.  As we saw last week, they can assume something is false – they can assume something is true – or they can assume probabilities and remote possibilities.  In this case, “if” means “if.” This is a true hypothetical situation.  “IF you love Me,” then XYZ.  Love.  Not everyone loves Jesus – not even among the disciples.  They just witnessed a prophecy of Jesus concerning one of their number who would betray Him to death.  Even if Peter’s love for Jesus was going to be tested, certainly Judas was about to prove that he never loved Jesus at all.  Did they truly love Christ?  Were they willing to selflessly give themselves for Him, as He did for them?  Jesus was willing to wash their feet (as a symbol of His coming service at the cross) – Jesus was willing to die for them while they were yet sinners.  There is no greater demonstration of love than this.  Would that love be reciprocated?
    1. The same question should be asked of us?  Do you love Christ?  Not in the “Jesus is my homeboy” sort of way, or “Jesus is my buddy” or (worse yet) “Jesus is my boyfriend,” ideas of love – but love in the sense of self-sacrifice.  This is a verb form of the word αγαπη – the selfless, giving love of the NT, perfectly exampled by Jesus.  If we’re being honest, there are many people in a lot of church buildings who are perfectly happy thinking that they can have Jesus in their life, without having Jesus as their Lord.  They think they can be Christians without truly loving Christ, and giving everything to Jesus.  The old song says “I surrender all,” and that’s the idea behind αγαπη love.  Will we sacrifice all for Jesus?  Are we willing to surrender everything to Him?  Do we love Him?  Only you & He can answer the question. 
  2. What’s the proof of our love?  Obedience.  Love is the question; obedience is the condition. Jesus says “keep My commandments.”  There’s a bit of a debate here regarding the ancient manuscripts.  Some have the word “keep” in the future tense, with the grammar indicating a simple action (i.e., “you will keep My commandments”).  Others (the majority) have this in the present tense, but grammatically indicating a command (thus, “keep My commandments”).  One is a natural outcome of our love for Christ; the other is a choice we make to demonstrate our love for Christ.  The 2nd makes more sense from the context, but in the end, both are true.  If we do truly love Jesus, then it only follows that we will act according to His will.  At the same time, the way we act according to His will is by us making a lot of little choices along the way.  For instance, I can say I love my wife all day long, but if I make a bunch of choices indicating the opposite (being rude to her, looking at other women, etc.), my claim to love would be seriously questionable.  But if I make consistent choices to honor her, respect her, & cherish her above all others, then there’s evidence of my love.  At that point, love is more than words – my claim is substantiated.  The type of relationship is a bit different with Jesus, but the idea is the same.  Do we love Him?  Then make the choices necessary to demonstrate it.  After all, if Jesus is a Person (and He IS), then faith in Jesus is far more than eternal fire insurance against Hell.  It’s loving HIM – knowing HIM in true relationship and faith.  Make the choice to love Him, and show it through your obedience.
    1. Question: “Did Jesus just cross the line into legalism?”  Much more will be said about this later on in Ch. 14, but the quick answer is “no.”  Not once did Jesus say that we are saved through any means other than by faith in Him, nor are our works somehow responsible for keeping us saved.  Our obedience IS evidence of salvation, but it isn’t the method of it.  Actually, the fact that our obedience is tied to love specifically takes this away from the idea of legalism because it clarifies our motivation.  WHY do we obey/keep Jesus’ commandments?  Because we love Him.  Because I love my wife, I want to do certain things for her.  I want to treat her in certain ways.  I want her to know that I love, honor, respect, and cherish her.  It’s not legalism for me to stay faithful to her; that’s my desire because I do love her.  It’s my joy to do so.  Likewise with our relationship with Jesus.  When you love Christ, keeping His commands is a joy; not a burden.  It’s love; not legalism.
  3. All of this begs the question: “What are the commandments of Jesus?”  If the evidence of our love for Him is keeping His commands, what did He say to do?  Again, more will be said about this later on – here, Jesus just introduces the idea.  He’ll pick it up again in vs. 21-23.  For now, we can keep it simple.  Loving Jesus = loving others.  What was the most immediate use of the word “commandment,” by Jesus?  He said it earlier that night (John 13:34-35).  In fact, He demonstrated it when He washed the disciples’ feet, and specifically told them to do the same (John 13:14-15).  It’s true that we can think of a whole list of other commands, especially as we start going through the Sermon on the Mount – but even that can be summarized simply by Great Commandments of loving God & loving others.  The apostle John himself summarizes it later on in one of his letters: 1 John 3:23, "And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment."  Believe Christ, and love one other.  Love God (by worshipping Him in faith through Jesus), and demonstrate our love for God by loving other people as He loved us.
  4. It’s simple, right?  Yes.  But simple isn’t necessarily easy.  In this case, it’s impossible.  We need help, vs. 16…

16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—

  1. NKJV says Jesus prays (and He does), but a better translation would be to say that Jesus asks.  It may be splitting hairs a bit, but it’s truer to the text.  In any case, the point is that Jesus intervenes on our behalf.  Jesus knows we need help to keep His commandments, and He asks His Father to send us Someone.  This Someone is none other than God the Holy Spirit.  Because this is the 1st of several teachings about the Holy Spirit during the Upper Room Discourse, it’s worth spending a bit of time to lay a foundation.
  2. The first thing Jesus says about the Spirit is that He is “another Helper.”  Although it’s easy to do, be careful not to overlook that 1st word: “another.”  There’s a lot to be said about this little descriptor!  (1) If there’s another, there must be an original.  Who’s the original?  Jesus.  Jesus was already with the disciples, and He promises to ask for God to send Someone else to them in the role of a helper.  That means that Jesus must have been doing the same thing, in the same role…and He was.  (We’ll see Biblical proof of this in a minute.)  Jesus was already helping the disciples in ways they did not realize, and now they are to expect another. (2) The kind of “another” is important, because that determines the kind of Helper to be expected.  Biblical Greek had two basic words for “another”: Αλλος (another of the same kind) vs. ετερος (another of a different kind – “heterosexual” = different sexes, although the same type of being, i.e. human). This Helper is αλλος – the same kind as – like Jesus.  The Holy Spirit is not Jesus Himself, but He is equivalent to Him in nature.
    1. Affirms Deity.  The Spirit is God, just as much as God the Father & God the Son. He is “another” in this same way.  This gets back to the mystery of the Trinity.  We do not worship 3 gods; we worship 1 God eternally revealed in 3 Persons (more about this in a minute).  But the Holy Spirit is one of the three Persons of the Godhead.  Like God the Father & God the Son, the Holy Spirit was present at creation (Gen 1:1-2).  God the Spirit has all of the same characteristics as God the Father, being all-powerful (Lk 1:35), all-knowing (1 Cor 2:10-11), and ever-present (Ps 139:7).  Although He seems often forgotten by many churches, the Holy Spirit is truly God in every aspect.
    2. Affirms Personage.  Although the KJV often uses the term “Holy Ghost,” that word “ghost” is misleading.  It implies the remnants of someone else who used to exist.  The Holy Spirit is not Jesus’ ghost.  He isn’t “Casper.”  The Holy Spirit (Spirit = wind, breath) is Himself the 3rd Person of God.  And because He is a Person, He is personal. The Spirit is not a thing/force.  HE is a Person.  The Spirit speaks (Acts 13:2) – can be grieved (Eph 4:30) – can be lied to (Acts 5:3) – actively prays & intercedes (Rom 8:26), and more.  These are not activities that a force can do.  Electricity cannot pray; it simply exists.  The Holy Spirit is living and active, just as much as God the Father and our Lord Jesus.  He is the Personal God.
  3. How did Jesus specifically describe this One who is “another?”  As “another Helper.”  The  word is παρακλετος.  Literally, this is a compound word meaning “the called alongside one,” (from the words “with/along” and “called”).  The ancient idea is one of an advocate, from a legal setting.  This is someone who would plead the legal case for another – this is a spokesman for someone else.  The Holy Spirit is our spokesman (our Paraclete).  He is a Helper, not in a mere-assistant sort of way, in which He just gives us the push that we need – He is vital in getting us exactly what we need to live as Christians.  Just as a courtroom defendant wouldn’t dare go before a judge on his/her own, we would be doomed to fail without the help of the Holy Spirit.  He comes alongside of us and carries us along – He pleads on our behalf – He provides for us what we need.
    1. Remember that this applies to Jesus as well.  Both the Spirit AND Jesus are παρακλετος.  Not only is this implied from Jesus’ own statement (the Spirit is “another Helper,” thus Jesus is the 1st), but Jesus is specifically given this title in the Scripture.  1 John 2:1, "My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous."  Advocate = Helper = παρακλετος.  Jesus takes our side, arguing our defense.  When it comes to the forgiveness of our sin, Jesus stands up on our behalf, showing that He already shed His blood for us, proving that the price has already been paid.
    2. What’s the good news about this legal position of an Advocate?  It means that God is on our side.  Be it the Son or the Spirit, our Helper/Advocate/Paraclete is our attorney; not our accuser.  Satan accuses; Jesus & the Spirit advocate.  God Himself is our defense!  Of whom should we be afraid?  No one!
  4. From whence does the Spirit come?  He is asked for by Jesus, given by God.  Although it’s a mystery, we can say the Spirit proceeds from both.  Jesus specifically uses the terminology that the Spirit proceeds from the Father, but also says that He personally will send the Spirit to the disciples (Jn 15:26, 16:7).  Again, this is the Trinity.  God (in all Persons) is eternal.  There has never been a time when God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit did not fully and totally exist.  Yet somehow, the Son is begotten of the Father, and the Spirit proceeds from the Father, sent by the Son.  This is the part where our minds get stretched a bit.  We simply cannot conceive how this can happen in eternity past, but that’s because we’re not infinitely eternal beings.  Thankfully because of Christ, our lives will never end, but we most definitely had a beginning.  Not so with the Trinity.  Almighty God has always existed, and has always had this interpersonal relationship between Father, Son, and Spirit, being self-existent & self-proceeding.  That’s just part of what comes with being God.
    1. The most mind-blowing part of all?  This God whose existence is beyond our ability to comprehend takes notice of us.  He sees us, knows us, and loves us.  Not just as a group of humans, but as individuals.  This God knows everything about you & me.  He knows all of our past sins & all of the sins we’ve yet to commit, and He still loves us.  This God who has absolutely no need of us loves us enough to send His Son for us to be saved, and His Spirit to us to help us as we are saved.  We deserve nothing but wrath from this Almighty Incomprehensible God, and yet He reveals Himself to us, loves us, and actually comes to be with us.  Amazing!
  5. That’s only the 1st 2 clauses of vs. 16.  J  Jesus speaks of another aspect of this Helper: He will “abide with you forever.”  Not only will the Spirit be sent, but the Spirit will remain.  Surely this was one of the most comforting aspects about this news to the disciples.  Jesus had told them several times by this point that He was leaving, but the whole point here is that He wasn’t leaving them alone.  Jesus had helped them in the past, and they would continue to have help into the future.  The Spirit was coming in that same role.  How long would the Holy Spirit stay with them?  Forever – literally “into the eon.”  This is a big difference between the OT Saints & NT Christians.  In the OT, the Spirit would come upon people for a time, and perhaps leave them later.  [Demonstrated by Saul, feared by David.]  Jesus promises something drastically different to His disciples.  Once the Holy Spirit came, the Holy Spirit would remain.  He forever abides with believers in Christ, and there is never a time that we will be without Him.
    1. We have eternal communion with the full Triune Godhead.  The Spirit will abide with us forever – after His resurrection, the Son promised to be with us forever, even to the end of the age (Mt 28:20) – the Scriptures affirm that God the Father will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb 13:5).  For a Christian, there will never come a time that you are excluded or abandoned by Almighty God.  What privilege!  What assurance!
    2. That’s not to say that sin can’t get in the way of our relationship with God.  The biggest problem many Christians have is that they allow their sin to become a stumbling block in their walk with Christ.  Instead of dealing with their sin by confessing it to God & turning from it in repentance, they allow it to fester & grow in their lives.  Soon, it seems that God doesn’t hear their prayers, and begins to bring His discipline.  That’s the natural (and expected) consequence, but it doesn’t mean that we’ve been abandoned by the Holy Spirit.  When God disciplines us, it’s because He loves us & He wants to get our attention.  He’s still with us, even if we’re not with Him.

17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

  1. The Spirit is the “the Spirit of truth,” literally, “of THE truth,” just like Jesus is THE way, THE truth, and THE life.  Emphasizes the unity between Son & Spirit, just like there is unity between Father & Son.  The Spirit of God IS the Spirit of Jesus (1 Pt 1:11).  They share the same character and nature, which makes sense because they are One God. Because He is the Spirit of the truth, it tells us something about His character: He does not lie.  Over & over again, the Scriptures tell us that God does not lie (Num 23:19, Tts 1:2, Heb 6:18), so this applies just as much to God the Holy Spirit as it does to God the Father.  So what?  So it means that when the Spirit is promised to be with us forever, He will be.  When the Spirit gives a new birth, He does.  When the Spirit seals us for heaven, that’s permanent.  He doesn’t lie, and He especially doesn’t lie about eternity.  Our future is wrapped up in the God who does not lie, which makes it marvelously assured!
  2. The Spirit is unique to the Church.  The “world cannot receive” Him.  The emphasis here is on ability.  It’s true that the world lacks the will to recognize God as God, but they also lack the capability.  They do not, nor cannot, know God the Holy Spirit.  As long as they resist the Spirit’s conviction of their sin & need to be saved, they will (nor can) never recognize Him as God.  Jesus describes this in two ways:
    1. They don’t see the Spirit.  The idea here is that they cannot observe Him, or perceive Him.  Obviously the Holy Spirit is invisible, but there’s more to it than that.  The wind is invisible, but we can at least feel it in the air & see the results of where it blows.  In fact, Jesus uses exactly that analogy with Nicodemus (Jn 3).  The world cannot even see that much of the Spirit.  They cannot perceive Him at all.  He exists, but they have no idea.  Like radio waves, they aren’t tuned in.
    2. They don’t know the Spirit.  Sometimes people argue “Well, people might not be Christians, but they at least know God.”  How so?  Jesus teaches exactly the opposite.  They don’t know God the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit IS God.  Just because another religion recognizes a Creator God doesn’t mean that they worship THE Creator God.  Other religions teach of an impersonal creator or cruel creator or multiple creators, etc.  They don’t proclaim the truth about God.  The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth, and He is God.  Just as Jesus said earlier that if we know Jesus we know the Father, the same is true in regards to the Spirit.  If you know the Holy Spirit, you know God – if you don’t, you don’t.
    3. What’s the end result?  They cannot be saved.  Way back in Ch 3, Jesus told Nicodemus that without being born of the Spirit, no one sees the kingdom of God (Jn 3:5).  The Holy Spirit is the one who regenerates us & gives us our new birth after we come to faith in Jesus.  Seeing, knowing, and receiving the work and person of the Holy Spirit is essential to salvation.  It’s one more confirmation that there is no other salvation outside that of Jesus Christ.  Moral atheists are not saved – moral Muslims aren’t saved – moral Jews aren’t saved – no matter what your ethnicity, background, or even church membership, if you do not have faith in Jesus Christ as Savior & Lord, then you have not received the new birth given by the Holy Spirit, and thus you are not saved.  Period.
  3. Contrast this with the Church.  Again, the Holy Spirit is unique to the Church.  The world does not know Him, but the disciples do.  In fact, (with the present tense in mind) they already knew Him, even if they didn’t realize it as Jesus was teaching them about the Spirit at that very moment.  Just like they had already seen the Father when they saw Jesus the Son, they already knew the Spirit because they already knew Jesus.  It’s all about the unity among the Trinity. 
    1. Even if you’ve never realized it, as a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, you have been given the Holy Spirit of God.  In fact, knowledge of the Holy Spirit within us is the only way we know anything about God at all.  1 Corinthians 2:11–12, "(11) For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. (12) Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God."  There are some things God does for us in Christ just out of an act of His grace – not because we’ve consciously asked for these things.  Many Christians never thought to ask for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit the moment they got saved – we just realized who Jesus is, realized the extent of our sin, and asked for His forgiveness.  But God knew that we needed the Holy Spirit, and He gave Him.  The moment you began understanding spiritual truths (even minor ones) is evidence that you were given the Spirit of God.  He indwells every member of the Church, and you might know Him experientially without ever having realized it intellectually.
  4. Not only did Jesus speak about the knowledge of the Spirit, He spoke of part of the ministry of the Spirit.  There is a present ministry (“He dwells with you”), and there is a future ministry (“He…will be in you.”)  He currently had an abiding presence with/alongside the disciples.  He would also have a future indwelling among them, which would provide for them that new birth.  Keep in mind that the tenses were different for the 11 disciples in the upper room with Jesus than it is for us.  At that moment in time, Jesus had not yet gone to the cross, nor had He risen from the grave – thus they were in an in-between time period that we do not experience 2000 years later.  For them, they already knew the Spirit (having known Christ), and they had the presence of the Spirit among them (being that they were in true communion & fellowship with God).  But the indwelling of the Spirit had not yet come because Jesus had not risen from the grave.  That would come the moment Jesus breathed upon them, prior to His ascension (Jn 20:22).  Only after Jesus rose from the grave could the disciples receive the new birth, and thus be indwelled by the Holy Spirit.
    1. For us, this is something that happens the very moment that we are saved.  Again, God does this for us without us asking (and we wouldn’t have known to ask).  When we put our faith in Jesus, the Holy Spirit gives us a new birth & a new nature.  He indwells us, and our bodies are mysteriously made His temple (1 Cor 6:19).  We are sealed for eternity, and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit becomes our guarantee (down payment) on eternity (2 Cor 1:22).
    2. Sometimes people get the idea that if Christians do not experience certain spiritual gifts that they do not have the Holy Spirit.  They confuse the ministries of the Holy Spirit & think that without tongues (or other specialized gifts) that it’s possible not to have the Holy Spirit at all.  That’s absolutely not true.  If you’re born-again, you have the Spirit…period.  You cannot be a Christian without being indwelled by God the Holy Spirit.
  5. That said, there’s another aspect of the Spirit’s ministry not directly mentioned here by Jesus, but alluded to – specifically in regards to the Spirit being an Advocate/Helper.  That is the empowerment of the Holy Spirit when He comes upon us. Acts 1:8, "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”"  The power of the Spirit is what enables us to keep Jesus’ commands.  By this point in time, the disciples had already believed upon the Lord, and had been indwelt by the Spirit.  Yet Jesus still told them to wait before going out to witness.  Why?  They needed power, and that’s what the Holy Spirit would give at Pentecost (Acts 2).
    1. There are differing thoughts among Bible-believing Christians as to when the power of the Spirit comes upon believers, and it is the source of much (unnecessary & sad) controversy.  Yet there ought to be NO controversy on the Biblical fact that the empowering filling of the Spirit can be both requested & repeatable.  (It’s seen over & over again in the book of Acts.)  We’re commanded to have a continued filling of the Spirit (Eph 5:21); not to be content with our initial baptism.  Whenever you believe the filling of the Spirit initially comes upon you, the Bible tells us to ask for it again & again.  We always need to be filled, because we always need the power the Holy Spirit provides.  So ask Him for it.

18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

  1. As good and wonderful as the ministry of the Holy Spirit would be, Jesus promises something more.  The Spirit wasn’t the only one coming to the disciples; Jesus was as well.  Takes us full circle to what Jesus said at the beginning of Ch. 14. [14:1-3] Don’t be troubled; you’re not orphans.  Don’t worry; you’re not desolate, you’re not alone.  Jesus goes to great lengths to assure us that we are not abandoned by Him.  Be sure to take Him at His word!
  2. There are a few possible interpretations as to what Jesus meant in regards to His coming to them (some count up to 5).  First, Jesus would come back to them after the resurrection.  In only a few hours, Jesus would be taken from them by the temple guards, led through a kangaroo court of the Sanhedrin council, delivered over to the Romans, flogged, crucified, and buried.  By all aspects, that would seem to be a permanent departure.  Just like the death of parents would permanently leaven a child as an orphan, it would seem to be the same with the disciples.  But it wasn’t.  Jesus’ physical departure was only temporary.  As final as that tomb would have looked, it wasn’t the end.  Soon enough the stone would be rolled away & Jesus would return to them!
  3. Second, Jesus would come back to them at the resurrection of the saints & rapture of the Church.  This is perhaps less likely considering the context.  It’s no doubt true that Jesus will come physically for the disciples (and all of us) when He calls us home at the Rapture & at that moment we will forever be physically in the presence of our Lord.  There’s little doubt this was Jesus’ intent earlier in Ch 14, but the argument becomes a bit harder to make here.  Here, it’s less the idea of Jesus taking the disciples with Him & more His coming to be with & among them.
  4. Third, we’ve got to allow for a bit of the mystery of the Trinity even here.  The Bible says that the Spirit of God is the Spirit of Christ, and we already know that Jesus has promised to be with us until the end of the age.  Obviously Jesus isn’t physically with us; He’s physically still incarnate at the right-hand of God.  Jesus is with us spiritually.  How so?  Through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.  So it’s possible that Jesus’ coming to the disciples is also a reference to the coming of the Holy Spirit.  We need to be careful not to confuse the Son & the Spirit, but it’s true that Jesus IS with us through the Holy Spirit.  Thus we are not orphans…not even today.  Our Jesus is spiritually with us now, in addition to one day being physically with us again.

Thank goodness for the ministry of the Helper!  Praise God that we have been given the Holy Spirit!  The disciples were already troubled by the thought of Jesus’ departure, and to think that they would have to do everything on their own would have been overwhelming.  But that’s not what God called them to do.  God would equip them by sending the Holy Spirit.  Jesus would ask for the Spirit on their behalf, and the disciples would never be left alone.  They would have eternal communion with the eternal Godhead: Father, Son, Holy Spirit.

As Christians, we say we love Jesus – so demonstrate it.  Keep His command by believing upon Him & loving others.  It’s only made possible by the Holy Spirit, but that is who Jesus sent to be with us.  Ask Him for help.  Ask Him for power.  Trust Him to be with you and advocate on your behalf.  We do not walk this life alone…it would be impossible to do so!  We cannot save ourselves; we certainly cannot live for Christ of ourselves.  So many Christians try to do so & wonder why they constantly fail.  It’s because we’re trying to swim out of the ocean in our own strength.  God has given us a Helper in the Holy Spirit, so rely upon Him to help you.

It begins, as it did for the disciples, with an “if.”  “If you love Me…” Do you love Jesus?  Have you made the choice to turn away from your sins of the past & put your trust in Jesus for salvation?  It is a choice that you make – and nothing else that God promises is available to you until you make it.  The Holy Spirit is a wonderful Help & Advocate, but you cannot know Him until you respond to Jesus’ offer to save. Respond today!


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