The Helper

I’ve been journaling through the gospel of John in the New Testament. Many mornings I’ll use the SOAP journaling tool when I do. Here’s a sample from this morning:

Scripture

“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.” (John 15:26-27 ESV)

Observation

But when…Jesus has just described the persecution that his followers would experience due to the unbelief of their generation. Although they had heard him preach and seen him work miracles in their midst, by and large they would reject him as their Messiah, showing that they had already rejected YAHWEH. BUT… “But when the Helper comes…he will bear witness about me.” When the Holy Spirit comes, He will do something– he will witness– he will attest to the truth of Jesus. Under the power of the Holy Spirit, many will place their faith in Jesus; many of those even who had rejected him previously.

Helper– What a great revelation from Jesus. That God, the Holy Spirit, would be a helper… paraklétos.

Definition: (a) an advocate, intercessor, (b) a consoler, comforter, helper, (c) Paraclete.3875 /paráklētos (“advocate, advisor-helper”) is the regular term in NT times of an attorney (lawyer) – i.e. someone giving evidence that stands up in court.http://biblesuite.com/greek/3875.htm

Here John seems to have in mind this common NT times usage of an attorney, or someone who gives evidence that stands up in court. He would be convincing. And what a need of this convincing work the disciples had. First with the Jews to show that Jesus was the Messiah even though no earthly Kingdom had been restored to Israel. And second with the Gentiles who would need to accept a Jewish Lord that the Jews themselves had rejected.

…whom I will send to you…

The Holy Spirit is sent by the Son. Jesus has is the rightful king, and he sends the Holy Spirit to continue the work he has begun to build a kingdom.

…from the Father…

The Holy Spirit is sent from Jesus, and like Jesus is from the Father. He is divine. He is from heaven. And the Father is involved in his sending as well as the Son.

…the Spirit of truth…

The Holy Spirit who will bear witness about Jesus is rightly called the spirit of truth. This is the same word used of Jesus who was full of grace and truth. He will work in a convincing way to open people up to the truth of the gospel. I remember that this truth is not merely true as in “true or false”, or as in accurate. It’s also a truth of idea, a reality, or a divine truth revealed to man. (http://biblesuite.com/greek/225.htm)

…he will bear witness…

The holy Spirit is a person as is God the Father and God the Son.

And you also will bear witness…

Jesus’ disciples had an awesome privilege and responsibility to work uniquely with the Holy Spirit to be witnesses as well because you have been with me from the beginning. They were to become witnesses to the pivotal event in history– Jesus’ resurrection. And after his resurrection and after the coming of the Holy Spirit they would understand this great calling.

Application

There are a couple parts to this truth that I need to remember today. First, my calling as a follower of Jesus is found here in Jesus’ statement to his disciples. For while their calling was unique in that they were physical witnesses to his glory, my calling is also to be a witness to Jesus the Messiah. Second, the Holy Spirit is the ultimate helper or convincing agent in all of this work. It is only the Holy Spirit who will convict the world according to sin (John 16:8).

Prayer

Lord, I sit reminded of your calling to share you with the world. There is nothing else that I do that supersedes this. There is nothing that the church must do that is greater than this. Will you somehow use me and this church to bear witness to you, under the power of the Holy Spirit, so that many hundreds of lives will come to worship Jesus as Lord?

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