John 14.16-18 cont.
16 and I will ask the Father and He will give to you another Helper, so that He may be with you forever,
17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees nor knows Him. You know Him, because He remains in you and will be in you.
18 I will not leave you as orphans, I am coming to you.
The word helper can be translated as ‘advocate’, ‘intercessor’, ‘consoler’, ‘helper’, ‘comforter’.
It is generally accepted that Jesus was referring to the Holy Spirit.
The Greek word is made of two words:
para, which means ‘alongside’
kaleo, meaning ‘I call’.
It is from these two words that ‘parakletos’ is derived, having the meaning of someone who comes alongside as a helper, or advocate.
In a Greek court someone who had been brought before the court might want someone else to plead his case. Such a person would be a paraclete, that is someone who had been called in specifically to put the case for the defendant.
We have very much the same system in our courts, and they are called advocates. They intercede on behalf of their clients.
We can have no greater advocate than the Holy Spirit. He is able to plead with others on our behalf in circumstances that we may see as difficult, if not impossible.
Perhaps many of us have had difficult situations where we have not known what to say, but all of a sudden we have said something and then wondered where it came from. It is in those times that our advocate, the Holy Spirit, is speaking through us.
The Greeks also used the word paraclete to describe someone who might be called upon to give an expert opinion about something.
There is no greater expert an anything and everything than the Holy Spirit.
Quite often in our courts of law an expert witness is called in to give their opinion about a certain matter.
In the Holy Spirit the believer has the greatest expert witness that there is. He knows all things, and He will show us what we need to know, when we need to know it.
The word ‘paraclete’ also means an encourager. Most of us may have had times when we have felt discouraged, wondering how we are going to cope with something, or how we are going to get through something. It is in such times that we need to turn to our ‘Encourager’, the Holy Spirit. He can encourage us like no one else.
He is the Helper, whom Jesus has asked the Father to give to us.