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.
Recently there have been a couple of devastating earthquakes in Napal, which has caused the loss of thousands of lives. Many children will have lost their parents and now face life as orphans.
Also in a number of countries the children of Christian parents are being made orphans as some anti-Christians extremists groups kill their parents, just because they are Christians.
Most of us cannot imagine what it is like to be made an orphan as children and to have to face life bereft of parents. Such a loss must take a considerable amount of adjusting to.
Jesus told His disciples that He would not leave them as orphans. Using such language displays the way in which Jesus and His disciples had become more than close friends. They had become like a family, with Jesus the leader of that family.
For the disciples to lose Jesus would seem a tragedy beyond their worst nightmares.
The word ‘orphan’ also means to be left desolate. We may assume that the disciples would have felt that the departure of Jesus would leave them desolate, isolated in a city where there was a growing antagonism towards Jesus and themselves.
Jesus re-assures them that He would not leave them in desolation. This re-assurance is set within the context of Jesus promising them the eternal presence of The Helper, The Holy Spirit.
Jesus had told them that He was leaving them to go and prepare a place for them. Earlier in His ministry He had told them:
“For where two or three gather together because they are Mine, I am there among them” – Matthew 18.20 (NLT). Whatever circumstances we face, and however dire they may be, we have the assurance that Jesus will never leave us, nor forsake us. He is with us through the Holy Spirit.
This verse concludes with the promise of Jesus that He will return. Some say that Jesus was talking about His return in glory on the Last Day. However, the context is better suited to Jesus will coming back to them after He had risen from the dead, and also that He would be with them in and through the Presence of the Holy Spirit, who was to be poured out in greater measure on the Day of Pentecost.
Therefore, He is with us now. Hallelujah.