Bible Society of South Africa

Our Helper – 1 October 2020

By Ben Fourie

Bible text(s)

16I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, who will stay with you for ever. 17He is the Spirit who reveals the truth about God. The world cannot receive him, because it cannot see him or know him. But you know him, because he remains with you and is in you.

John 14:16-17GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Greek word for Helper is “Paraklete”. The Good News Bible translates it as Helper, the King James Version uses Comforter and in the New English Version, we find Advocate. The Contemporary English Version says Holy Spirit but with a footnote explaining that the Greek word may mean comfort, encourage or defend.

In this passage, we find Jesus in conversation with his small group of devout followers. From what was said, we can deduce that the chain of events of the previous few days, as well as at the Passover meal, had upset the disciples quite a bit. Judas had been identified as the one who was to betray Jesus, and Peter, the leader of the group, would deny knowing Him before the night was over as confirmed by Jesus. They were also confused by what Jesus had said about his impending suffering and death. Therefore, he told them not to be worried and upset, and made the promise that he would not leave them alone for they would receive the Holy Spirit who would be their Helper, Comforter and Advocate from the Father.

It is very easy to “limit” the work of the Holy Spirit to the spectacular. Fire and wind, speaking in tongues, supernatural happenings, people who fall down in the Spirit, and special experiences or some other. If we only concentrate on those, we forget what Jesus promised his followers, including us. The real task of the Holy Spirit is to be with us every moment of every day. He also has to be the advocate who pleads our case before the Father in the same way as Jesus is shown to be our advocate in 1 John 2:1.

Next time, we will look further at what the Paraklete means to us.

Prayer: I want to thank you, Holy Spirit, for being with me every moment of my life. Amen

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