The Promise of the Comforter.

Farewells can be bitter experiences, especially if there is no guarantee of ever seeing the other person again.  Jesus gave the disciples a promise that He would return one day (John 14:1-4).  It is not an empty promise.  He would give the gift of the Holy Spirit, and this showed that Jesus would keep His promise.  Even greater, it was a promise that Jesus’ presence would forever still be with His people.

SHOWING LOVE FOR CHRIST—John 14:15

Showing love for someone is best seen in our actions.  It is not only important for people to see an authentic Christian way of life in us but it is most important that it is displayed for God to see.  Our love for Christ is displayed in our obedience to His commands.  This is the walk of life we must take on, “Keeping the commandments of Christ is here put for the practice of godliness in general” (Henry, Matthew Commentary, Hendrickson).  It is not for us to pick and choose what commandments we want to follow.  The people God calls for us to be is people of obedience to Him.

Obedient Faith in Christ is the requirement for the presence of the Holy Spirit in the disciple as, “The Spirit dwells only in an atmosphere of obedient love to Jesus” (Dongell, A Bible Commentary, Wesleyan Publishing House).  The allegiance of the disciple is seen in his or her actions.  The sending of the Comforter by the Father because of the prayer of the Son comes to those who respond in obedient faith to the Gospel.

THE COMFORTER WILL COME—John 14:16-21

The first name that Christ gives to us in reference to the Holy Spirit is, “another Comforter.”  The word for “another” actually means “another of the same kind.”  The Holy Spirit of God is God just the same as Jesus Christ, the Son, is God.  The essence of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is unified as one but each are different in their personalities.  It can be thought of as a parent and child.  The child is no more or no less human than the parent.  The distinction comes in the functions that are performed by the two and personalities of each.

The second part of the name–Comforter–is literally understood as “one that comes alongside.”  The implied thought of “another Comforter” is the continuation of what Jesus had been doing.  Jesus had been with the disciples for the last three years, helping and teaching them; the Holy Spirit would continue the work.  The sending of the Holy Spirit should not be understood as a new phase of God’s plan but the continuation of what Jesus already started.

The second name Christ gave to the Holy Spirit was, “the Spirit of truth” (John 14:17).  Earlier, Jesus referred to Himself as “the truth” (vs. 6).  The Holy Spirit then directs us to the truth, which is Jesus.  Therefor as verse 17 declares “the world cannot receive” (14:17) the Spirit of truth because it will not receive Jesus.  It is because believed the Gospel and come to know  and love Jesus that the Spirit of truth “dwelleth with us, and shall be in us.”

The Comforter comes because Jesus leaves (John 14:18-19).  The phrasing “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” implies complete representation of Jesus by the Holy Spirit.  In the coming of the Spirit, there will be no lack in the purposes and promises that the Son set forth.  Jesus told His disciples He was not leaving them as orphans.  He was placing them in the care of One who is the same as He is. 

Even though Christ would ascend into heaven fort days after the resurrection, His presence would still be very real through the work of the Holy Spirit.  “The world seeth me no more; but ye see me” (John 14:19) helps us to realize that the world operates by sight but that we rely on faith.  Our steadfast faith will be turned into sight when Christ returns.

The Comforter helps us live obediently (John 14:20-21).  It is when the day of Pentecost came in that the discples truly realize the meaning of Jesus words, “At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.”  The realization of the oneness of God comes only through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. 

Those who have Jesus have my commandments and who keep them have Christ manifest Himself to them by the presence of the Holy Spirit.  Any effort to keep the commandments of God by ourselves will be to no avail.  The Holy Spirit comes to those who place their faith in Christ and empowers those believers to keep the commands of Christ.  Even our obedience to witness for Christ is only effective by the Holy Spirit.  “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

HOW THE COMFORTER WILL COME—John 14:22-24

How will the Comforter Come (John 14:22)?  The wording “Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot” lets us know the betrayer of Jesus was not the one interested in the Comforter.  It may be the intention of the writer to point out this difference between the “loyal” Judas and “traitorous” Judas,  for Jesus would explain that the Holy Spirit would come to those of real faith and that do not have real faith. 

Judas was curious as to why is Jesus was going to manifest Himself to the disciples but not unto the world.  He wanted to know what the distinction was that warranted some receiving the Spirit and not others. 

Who will the Comforter come to? (John 14:23-24). The Holy Spirit comes to those who by faith obey Christ out of love.  “If a man love me, he will keep my words.” This results in the Triune Godhead moving to “make our abode with him.”  In direct contrast, the person who “loveth me not keepeth not my sayings.”  The Spirit comes to those who believe and obey God.  The serious implication for us to consider is the Spirit does not come to those who by their disobedience show that they do not truly believe in Christ.

Obedience grows out of our love for Christ.  To receive the gift of the Holy Spirit is to obey Christ.  We obey Christ because we love Him.  “We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). 

BY THE PRESENCE OF THE COMFORTER—John 14:25-26

The disciples found comfort in the fact that Jesus was with them physically.  He had given to them the teachings of His kingdom and told them what He was expecting of them.  “These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you” implies that He had given them much guidance.  He had given to them the foundation they needed in being His witnesses.  Once again Jesus prepared His disciples for His departure.  They were not comfortless due to the fact that not only would they have the Holy Spirit but they would also have the first hand teachings of Jesus.

The presence of the Comforter to come (John 14:26).  Jesus Christ came in the name of the Father according to John 5:43.  Jesus came as the full representation of the Father.  The Holy Spirit comes from the Father, and the Father sends Him in Jesus name.  The Holy Spirit is the full representation of Jesus Christ to us.  Jesus’ character, purposes, and promises are held in the Spirit.  We did not lose anything at the ascension of Christ to heaven because of the descension of the Spirit from heaven.  In coming to us, the Holy Spirit does not bring anything new to the table.  He merely expounds upon what Jesus has already taught.  He opens our understanding because “he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26).  The Spirit brings back to our memory the teachings of Christ.  By the Holy Spirit we receive power to keep the commands of Christ.

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