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John’s gospel post 67: Advocate

February 5, 2014

John 14:16 – 27

So obedience comes from love. What happens next?

“I will ask the Father and he will provide you another advocate who will be with you forever.”

Now I’m a lawyer and I have tried my hand at most things over the years, but I was never an advocate. I’d get a specialist in to present my case. A barrister complete with wig. Particular skills are required to stand up and present a case in front of the judge. That wasn’t me.

So when Jesus offers his disciples an advocate he is bringing in the specialist. Someone to speak for them, to present their case.

So who is this specialist? He is the “Spirit of truth”. The Spirit of God.

Remember Jesus has made it plain. He is leaving. The disciples will not have him to lead and speak for them. But as God the Son departs, God the Spirit arrives. Jesus’ disciples will never be alone.

The people around would not recognise or understand the Holy Spirit, but he lives in Jesus’ followers. They will understand.

So the disciples are not alone. They are not orphans, but Jesus again moves their focus further forward. He will be coming back. Somehow invisible to the world but all too real to his disciples.

The disciples are alive. Alive with the life of Jesus.

And just as Jesus and the Father are one, so now the disciples will be one with them.

Again obedience is the proof of love. That is how we experience God’s love – and see Jesus for ourselves.

What closeness. God’s Spirit living in us. God the father, Jesus and his disciples inseparable.

For us, we still wait for Jesus’ promised return.

But we are not alone. We are not left to fend for ourselves, to battle on. We have an advocate. A spokesman. God himself.

A new disciple Judas (not the betrayer) questions all this and Jesus spells it out again. Love, obedience, God indwelling, words from God.

The advocate does not just speak for us though. He speaks to us. He is not just a skilled lawyer, he is teacher too, reminding the disciples of what Jesus said. Even now we have our Bibles, we still need the Spirit’s help to understand its truths.

It’s a lot to take in. Jesus anticipates their anxiety.

“I am giving you my peace”. Real peace. And that’s a promise.

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From → Christianity

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