The Counselor

John 14:15-31

Today’s scene is a continuation of the Farewell Discourse of Jesus.  Jesus has just told the remaining disciples that anything they ask in His name will be given to them.  Keep in mind that in context this was no blank check, but was all about doing the things that He had been doing. As we continue with this discussion, we now move into further elaboration of how this will all work: There will be a new Counselor.  The word translated “counselor” is parakletos which in the ancient world meant “one who gives legal advice”.  Today, we often refer to a lawyer as “counsel” which comes from this meaning.

In verses 15-17 Jesus teaches us three things about the Holy Spirit. 1) The Holy Spirit is our Eternal Advocate who intercedes for us before the Father (1 John 2:1).  2) The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth that unveils for us our relationship with God and thus sets us free from sin, death and the traditions of men.  3) The Holy Spirit is within you.  He cannot be taken He can only be received.  Thus, this world cannot take Him away and cannot even comprehend Him for He is not compatible with the world of men.  Wherever there is a Christian, there is also the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus goes further still in vv. 18-21 with the concept of His being “in the Father” and being “in you” and “you in me.”  By extension of course that means that we are “in the Father” through Jesus.  If we have His commands and obey them, then we will be considered to love Jesus.  If we love Jesus, the Father will love us.  Be sure to catch the “if” here; it goes back to obey.  If we obey Jesus’ commands the Father will love us in a special way, and Jesus will show Himself to us.  Will He literally and bodily do so?  No!  It’s actually better than that:  He will show himself through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

The Judas in 22 ff. is the Thaddeus of Matthew and Mark.  His question should sound familiar as it has already been asked by Jesus’ own brothers in 7:3-4. Jesus will not show Himself to the world because He doesn’t do things the way the world does.  You will never see Jesus as a guest on The Factor or Oprah because He is not out to win the praise of men; He is doing the Father’s work of redemption.  Finally, He introduces another element of the Christian life: Peace.  This is not merely the absence of war; it amounts to the full renewal of fellowship between Man and God.  With this peace, we need not be afraid, for no matter what the world may do, we are in a place where our future is assured.  The chapter concludes with the urgency of the hour.  Satan is busy at work and the time for face to face discussion is very nearly over, yet there is still time for a little more yet to come when Jesus talks about vines and branches in the next chapter.

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About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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10 Responses to The Counselor

  1. You have presented the Holy Spirit as our Eternal Advocate whereas the Bible says, “we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1b). So, Who is the Advocate? The Holy Spirit or Jesus Christ?

    • Don Merritt says:

      Father, Son and Holy Spirit are One. Consequently, Jesus and the Holy are inseparable just as Jesus is inseparable from the Father.

      • One Godhead. Surely the Father is not the Advocate before Himself?!

        • Don Merritt says:

          You have cited 1John 2:1 in which John is writing to the believers telling them that Jesus is their Advocate with the Father in heaven. Of course he wrote this after the resurrection and ascension when Jesus was “with the Father”. Of course in this post, we are looking at Jesus’ words in John 14 before His arrest. In this text Jesus is telling the disciples that when He is gone from them after He has accomplished the task before Him, He will send the parakletos (advocate) to them which is found in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. There is no contradiction between those texts.

  2. No answer needed for previous question, “One Godhead, etc.” Don’t display it or this one. Your answer “Father … the Father” is sufficient.

  3. Pingback: The Counselor | A disciple's study

  4. Pingback: The Counselor | franciscansonthemountains

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