This upper room section of John’s gospel (chapters 13-17) has been called this gospel’s ″Holy of Holies″. It is an intimate night in which Jesus prepares the disciples for the terrible events of His trial and death; and then His resurrection and ascension, when He returns to the Father.
Jesus teaches clearly that He will ask the Father to give them ″another advocate″ (v. 16). This Counsellor is another, like Jesus; He is ″the Spirit of truth″; He is not known by the world, but ″he lives with you and will be in you″ (v. 17). The Spirit will constantly remind them of the unity of the Father and the Son, and of their solidarity with the Godhead (v. 20).
The coming of the Spirit means that the believer will enjoy even greater intimacy with God; for although Jesus was with the disciples, the Spirit will be in them. When God promised a new covenant (Jeremiah 31:33-34; Ezekiel 37:14, 26-27), He promised to work inside His people’s hearts and minds. This new covenant will be inaugurated and effected when Jesus goes to the Father, and the Holy Spirit, God himself, will come and live within each believer.
The Spirit is called the paraclete (translated counsellor) in verses 16 and 26, meaning one who is called alongside, parallel, to help or strengthen. The Holy Spirit is God’s helping presence. He is another person like Jesus, so the disciples will not be abandoned like orphans (v. 18).
Jesus tells the disciples about the Spirit so that they will not be anxious and afraid (v. 27). With the Spirit comes the gift of peace-peace for which the world strives, negotiates, and discusses, but alas can never achieve. The Spirit’s presence will be recognized in the community that loves Jesus, such love being evident in our obedience to Him (vv. 23-24).
Spirit of purity and grace
Our weakness, pitying see;
God make our hearts Thy
And worthier Thee.
Read the passage again noting especially what is said about obedience, love for Jesus, and peace. Is this consistent with your experience?