Jesus said to his disciples: “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me.
“I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name, he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. You heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe.”
Our Two Advocates
Part of Jesus’ Last Farewell is the assurance that he will not leave the disciples “orphans.” Hence, he tells them not to be troubled or afraid. The parakletos is coming, sent by the Father in his name. The New American Bible (NAB), the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), and the Jerusalem Bible (JB) consistently use “Advocate” to translate this Greek word. Other translations render it as “Paraclete.”
In earlier Greek, parakletos signified one called in to be a person’s defense, a helper in court, one who pleads the cause of another. During the time of Jesus, the Jews—largely ignorant of the Roman law and language—usually employed Roman “advocates” in their trials before the Roman courts.
By referring to the Holy Spirit as “Advocate,” Jesus describes what is the work and office of the Holy Spirit. Aside from being the Spirit of gifts and empowerment sent from the Father to continue the mission of Jesus, this Spirit is Counselor, Helper, Comforter, and Intercessor. He will teach us (cf Jn 14:26) to testify about Jesus (cf Jn 15:26). On the other hand, by the Johannine reference to Jesus as “Advocate,” we are made to realize that though physically unseen by us, Jesus will continue to mediate for us in the glory of the Father. Hence, the believers draw comfort from the fact that Jesus is now with the Father. They will have the gift of peace because they have divine comforters, guides, and intercessors from their two “Advocates.”
Wounded, battered, and tempted, we may find life to be a “trial.” But with the divine “Comforters”—the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit—by our side, we shall not be afraid. For if God is with us, who can be against us? (cf Rom 8:31).
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2019,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: email@example.com; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.