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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN - Chapter 14 - Verse 16

Verse 16. I will pray the Father. This refers to his intercession after his death and ascension to heaven, for this prayer was to be connected with their keeping his commandments. In what way he makes intercession in heaven for his people we do not know. The fact, however, is clearly made known, Ro 8:34; Heb 4:14,15; 7:25.

It is as the result of his intercession in heaven that we obtain all our blessings, and it is through him that our prayers are to be presented and made efficacious before God.

Another Comforter. Jesus had been to them a counsellor, a guide, a friend, while he was with them. He had instructed them, had borne with their prejudices and ignorance, and had administered consolation to them in the times of despondency. But he was about to leave them now to go alone into an unfriendly world. The other Comforter was to be given as a compensation for his absence, or to perform the offices toward them which he would have done if he had remained personally with them. And from this we may learn, in part, what is the office of the Spirit. It is to furnish to all Christians the instruction and consolation which would be given by the personal presence of Jesus, Joh 16:14. To the apostles it was particularly to inspire them with the knowledge of all truth, Joh 14:26; 15:26. Besides this, he came to convince men of sin. See Barnes "Joh 16:8-11".

It was proper that such an agent should be sent into the world—

1st. Because it was a part of the plan that Jesus should ascend to heaven after his death.

2nd. Unless some heavenly agent should be sent to carry forward the work of salvation, man would reject it and perish.

3rd. Jesus could not be personally and bodily present in all places with the vast multitudes who should believe on him. The Holy Spirit is omnipresent, and can reach them all. See Barnes "Joh 16:7".

 

4th. It was manifestly a part of the plan of redemption that each of the persons of the Trinity should perform his appropriate work—the Father in sending his Son, the Son in making atonement and interceding, and the Spirit in applying the work to the hearts of men.

The word translated Comforter is used in the New Testament five times. In four instances it is applied to the Holy Spirit— Joh 14:16,26; 15:26; 16:7.

In the other instance it is applied to the Lord Jesus—1 Jo 2:1: "We have an advocate (Paraclete — Comforter) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous."

It is used, therefore, only by John. The verb from which it is taken has many significations. Its proper meaning is to call one to us (Ac 27:20); then to call one to aid us, as an advocate in a court; then to exhort or entreat, to pray or implore, as an advocate does, and to comfort or console, by suggesting reasons or arguments for consolation. The word "comforter" is frequently used by Greek writers to denote an advocate in a court; one who intercedes; a monitor, a teacher, an assistant, a helper. It is somewhat difficult, therefore, to fix the precise meaning of the word. It may be translated either advocate, monitor, teacher, or helper. What the office of the Holy Spirit in this respect is, is to be learned from what we are elsewhere told he does. We learn particularly from the accounts that our Saviour gives of his work that that office was,

1st. To comfort the disciples; to be with them in his absence and to supply his place; and this is properly expressed by the word Comforter.

2nd. To teach them, or remind them of truth; and this might be expressed by the word monitor or teacher, Joh 14:26 Joh 15:26, 27.

 

3rd. To aid them in their work; to advocate their cause, or to assist them in advocating the cause of religion in the world, and in bringing sinners to repentance; and this may be expressed by the word advocate, Joh 16:7-13. It was also by the Spirit that they were enabled to stand before kings and magistrates, and boldly to speak in the name of Jesus, Mt 10:20. These seem to comprise all the meanings of the word in the New Testament, but no single word in our language expresses fully the sense of the original.

That he may abide with you for ever. Not that he should remain with you for a few years, as I have done, and then leave you, but be with you in all places to the close of your life. He shall be your constant guide and attendant.

{o} "another Comforter" Joh 15:26

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