Page 12 - January 2022 - Truth & Tidings
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n John 13-17, the stairs to the upper   the Holy Spirit and Christ are distinct
            room lead us from the Lord’s Sup-  (the Spirit never became incarnate), the
        Iper in the dining room (recorded     Lord Jesus is drawing alongside the dis-
        in the synoptic Gospels) to a classroom   ciples while instructing them in John 14.
        (recorded here in John) where the Lord   Furthermore, the word “comforter” is
        Jesus announces His hour of departure   used of the Lord Jesus as our “advocate”
        “out of this world” (13:1).  His startled   (1Jn 2:1). In John 14:17, they learn that the
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        pupils, having had their feet washed by   Holy Spirit dwells “with” them and “in”
        Him, are perplexed at His going away. But   them, providing reassurance to His “little
        they need not be troubled, for the Spirit   children” (13:33) that they would not be
        of God who moved upon the face of the   left orphans, because of the promise that
        waters in creation and in a virgin’s womb   “we will come unto him” (v23). This is
        at the incarnation is going to move again   proof of the care and fellowship of the
        in the evangelisation of the world “so   trinity for God’s people.
        loved” by God.                          However, the truth of the Spirit’s dwell-
        Comfort in Trouble                    ing in the Church corporately and the
          As the teacher unfolds His divine cur-  believer individually was not fully ap-
        riculum,  Thomas  asks,  “How  can  we   preciated by the disciples until Pentecost.
        know the way?” (14:5). Jesus had just told   It was a clear answer to the OT hope of
        them where He was going (“the Father’s   men like Solomon, who pondered, “But
        house”) and the way to get there (“I will   will God indeed dwell on the earth?” (1Ki
        come again”), but they had forgotten that   8:27). No earthly structure could contain
        all the time they had known Him and seen   God, yet He promises to dwell with men
        Him they were also seeing His Father.   in a unique manifestation of His presence.
        Jesus answers emphatically, “I am the   Its consummation is “that where I am
        way” (v6), that they might grasp by faith   there ye may be also” (Joh 14:3). In verse
        this Father-Son union. Jesus must ascend   23, Christ balances the teaching of comfort
        to His Father before requesting that His   in trouble with individual responsibility
        Father give them “another comforter”   to obey: “If a man love me, he will keep
        (v16). The word “another” means another   my words: and my Father will love him,
        of the same kind, a divine person who   and we will come unto him, and make
        holds equality with the Father and the   our abode with him.” This Comforter is
        Son. In God’s glorious purpose, nothing   more than a “spiritual soother,” for He
        less will do as a perfect substitute for   will enable them to do “greater works”
        Christ than deity Himself.            than their present teacher (v12).
          The title “comforter” is the Greek   Communicating All Things
        parakletos. The beauty of the paraclete is   The title “Spirit of truth” occurs three
        his position and occupation. Learning   times (14:17; 15:26; 16:13) and lifts the
        to drive, you need a paraclete, one who   minds  of  the  disciples  to  even  higher
        instructs you, who sits alongside you as   ground than the comfort of God’s pres-
        your encourager. While the functions of   ence. The Lord Jesus, who claimed, “I am
        ¹ All Scripture quotations in this article are from   … the truth” (14:6), is going away, and
        the KJV.                              the fear of being bereft of the truth is real.

        12   TRUTH kTidings   January  2022
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