The Spirit Our Advocate- John 14:17-26

In our previous post, we examined Jesus’ use of the term parakletos in reference to the Holy Spirit, how the Spirit would be our advocate on earth, working to remind us of what is right and wrong and helping to keep us on the right path. We will now continue in John 14 to see exactly how the Spirit does so. We find, in verse 17, that the Spirit is the “Spirit of truth”, the Spirit would also be God, the one who determines what is true or not true, the ultimate source of truth. This Spirit will be “in” them, as opposed to Jesus, who was “with” them, and Jesus must go away from them in order for the Spirit to abide in them. He then tells them, in verses 18-19. that He will leave them and they will see Him again, here in reference to His impending death and His appearance to them after His resurrection. There is then a question, in verse 20, as to what he means by “on that day”. The most likely reference is to the day of Pentecost, because the word “realize” here is ginosko, to learn by experience, and on Pentecost they would experience the reality of Jesus in them in the coming of the Holy Spirit. He then returns to the theme of love and obedience in verse 21, and restates what he said in verse 14, with and added promise that to those who love Him by obeying Him, that he would “show” Himself to them. The Greek word show here is emphanizo- to reveal or make known, and this is an expression of love. Jesus tells us clearly here (verse 21) that He would reveal more of Himself to those who obey Him, that the means by which we grow to know Jesus better is by obeying Him, that He reveals more of Himself to those who obey His commands, who “love” Him as he defines love. Judas then asks Jesus a question in verse 22 , in effect asking if it is right for love to be “conditional”, isn’t God’s love supposed to be “unconditional”? Jesus responds by stating, for the third time, that to love Him is to obey Him , and He will “love” those who obey Him in a way in which He will not love those who do not obey Him. Those who love Him (through obedience) will be loved by the Father, with the obvious implication being that those who do not will not be loved in the same way, that there is an added dimension to God’s love for those who obey Him. Jesus then reminds them again that He is going away and He will send the Spirit to them, and tells them (and us) exactly how the Spirit would be their advocate on earth as Jesus would be in heaven. Here He tells us that the Spirit’s advocacy would consist of primarily two functions. First, to “teach you all things”. The Greek word teach here is didazei, the future active indicative of didasko, to teach or direct. The Spirit will be continually active in our lives, teaching us about all things and directing us on our way, directing every step as we seek His guidance, working in us to keep us on the right path. Second, He would “remind” us of everything Jesus said. The Greek word remind here is hupomimnesko, to bring to mind, also a future active indicative. The Spirit will also be continually at work, reminding us of what Jesus said (here representing the entirety of Scripture), not merely reminding us of what it says, but enlightening us about what it means and how it applies to whatever circumstance we are dealing with in life. So we find here again the Spirit as our heavenly advocate, continually working to keep us on the right path and remind us of what is right and wrong. So what do we take away from all of this, how does it apply in our lives today? Both a growing love and intimacy with Jesus and a life directed by the Holy Spirit as our heavenly advocate are here dependent on what Jesus commands and what He says. So we learn here, above all else, the supreme importance of the believer being in the Word of God, and even more importantly of the Word of God being in the believer. If we truly want to grow to know Jesus. to see more of Him and grow in intimacy with Him, we must spend time in His word, not simply reading to fulfill an obligation, but digging in to find what He wants to say to us as individuals through His word. If we truly want keep on the right path and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, we must get the Word of God into us, to give Him something through which he can guide us into all truth and keep us on the right path for us, the path which leads to our own unique purpose and place in the Kingdom of God. There is no substitute for time spent meditating upon the Scripture, and lack of so doing will result in a lack of intimacy with Jesus and in our straying off the right path for our lives.

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