The Comforter –

By Reverend Ron Purkey
Guest columnist

Read John 14:1-31

Reverend Ron Purkey

“I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another comforter, that he may dwell with you forever.” (John 14:16)

While with the disciples, Jesus Christ provided for them (see John 16:22–24); now that he was returning to heaven, he gives them the privilege of prayer. He promises to answer prayer so that the Father may be glorified. Praying in “his name” means praying for his glory, asking for whatever he himself would desire. The “greater works” spoken of in John 14:12 refer to the marvelous miracles and blessings the disciples experienced that are recorded in the Book of Acts (see Mark 16:20; Hebrews 2:4). The works he does through us today are “greater” in the sense that we are mere human vessels, while he was God incarnate ministering on earth.

Christ had much to say about the Holy Spirit in the following chapters of John’s Gospel. Here he calls him “the Comforter”, literally, “He who stands by your side to help you”. The word “another” means “another of the same kind,” because the Holy Spirit is God just as Jesus Christ is God. The living Holy Spirit in the disciples would take the place of the living Savior beside the disciples. He is also called “the Spirit of Truth”. The Holy Spirit uses the word of God (the Bible) to convict sinners and direct the saints, and the word of God is truth (John 17:17). The world cannot receive the Holy Spirit because it comes in response to faith.

There is much discussion about what Christ means when he says, “I will come to you” (John 14:18). Literally, it reads: “I (present) come to you.” This statement probably includes several things: the coming of Christ to the apostles after his resurrection; his coming to them in the person of the Holy Spirit; and his future coming to take them to heaven.

In John 14:21-26, Jesus Christ speaks of a deeper relationship the disciples will have with God the Father and God the Son through the Holy Spirit. They thought they would be “orphans” (literal meaning of “comfortless” in John 14:18), when in reality Jesus’ return to the Father made possible a deeper relationship between the saint (the redeemed person) and his Saviour. This relationship involves obedience to the word (John 14:21) and love of the word (John 14:24). It also involves the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit (John 14:26).

The Christian who spends time learning the Bible and then goes out to live the word of God will enjoy a close and satisfying fellowship with the Father and the Son. Love for Jesus Christ is not a superficial emotion to talk about; it means to love and obey the word of God by the power of the Holy Spirit. In John 14:1-3, Jesus spoke of the redeemed person going to heaven to dwell with the Father and the Son; but here he is talking about the Father and the Son coming to dwell with the redeemed person.

Read Ron Purkey’s Bible Study Outlines at for free on the website. Purkey has been an ordained Baptist pastor for 50 years.

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