|One of the strangest statements Jesus made to his disciples during his last week was, “It is good for you that I am going away” (Jn. 16:7). How could that be good? He was the one who had called them. He was the one who spent years mentoring, teaching and instructing them. Wouldn’t it be better if he stayed and oversaw their work?
Evidently not. God knew there was a better way for the disciples to carry out the great commission to go into the whole world proclaiming the gospel. It was time for another member of the Godhead to take over the work among the called. It was time for the Holy Spirit to begin his ministry among God’s people.
The Holy Spirit is to serve as “another Counselor” (Jn. 14:16). The Greek word translated as “Counselor” is “Paraclete.” It has been translated as “advocate,” “intercessor,” “counselor,” and “helper.” Here is the idea of someone who comes alongside to help. The Holy Spirit will continue the work of helping the disciples that Jesus began.
Jesus is the only other individual who is called by that name in Scriptures, thus the “Spirit of truth” is called “another counselor.” In 1John 2:1 Jesus is spoken of as “one who speaks to the Father in our defense…” The Spirit and Jesus carry on the same work on behalf of Jesus’ disciples.
The Spirit doesn’t merely put in a good word for us he brings active help. His work goes beyond that of an intercessor. Consider the following:
¨ “he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin” (Jn. 16:8)
¨ “the Counselor…will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (Jn. 14:26)
¨ while the world doesn’t recognize him, the disciples do because “he lives with you and will be in you” (Jn. 14:17)
¨ “he will testify about [Jesus]” (Jn. 15:26)
¨ “he will guide you into all truth…taking from what is [Jesus’] and making it known to you” (Jn. 16:12-15).
Through his ministry, the Spirit is indeed a helper. He continues the ministry of Jesus. Join us Sunday to consider God alongside us.
John Kenneth King