The Five Paraclete Saying of Jesus
The Gospel of John 14:15-18
Sermon One of Five

In the beginning of my ministry, one of my mentors was a New Testament Scholar who was one of the translators of the New International Version of the New Testament. Through my years I have kept not only much of his works, but several of those scholars whom he recommended for my library.

Over the next several weeks I have selected what has been called, “The Five Paraclete Sayings of Christ”. I have found them most interesting and helpful. Perhaps you will find them even more enlightening filled with insights from God’s Word. The Word of God is like that and perhaps that is why it is often called God’s Word or The Living Word. These ‘five statements” from the Gospel of John are found it chapters 14, 15, and 16. John records a wonderful conversation among Jesus and His disciples. Jesus is fully aware of the approaching encounter of the crucifixion and the impact it will have upon His disciples. He is also cognizant of the need to share with them they will not be left alone. A careful examination of this discussion allows us of the current generation a sense of listening to a teaching and discussion of our Savior and His disciples. What an amazing and intimate learning experience! The reader soon discovers a marvelous conjunction of love and obedience throughout these passages. Obedience without love can become legalism while love without obedience is subject to sentimentalism.

The word used is “paracletes” which can be “Helper” or “one called to aid in a judicial cause”. Another word for us in our English language is “advocate, intercessor, or someone who pleads for another.” (see verse 16). One British scholar (Dr. Barclay) feels this word is nearly “untranslatable” because of its importance and referencing the Holy Spirit. The promise given in verse one is for those who love Christ and keep His commandments. It is the wish of Christ that the disciples understand as much as possible all He is preparing for them to embrace. At the same time, He is fully conscious that He must leave for the Comforter to come. Now, we have another word which needs amplification. That is the word for “Comforter”. Coming to us from Latin, it refers to “strengthener”. It can also mean the idea of someone who enables a distraught person to embrace or someone who sympathizes with in sadness or sorrow. Perhaps a better statement regarding the role of the Holy Spirit in this circumstance would be “someone who helps cope with our situation or circumstance.

Jesus also promised His disciples that He would not leave them “comfortless” but that He send them a comforter. Again, the concept is that in Jesus knowing of His coming departure (which was necessary to complete the marvelous, plan of God. He would not leave them as “orphans”. Someone has written the word orphan indicates “someone deprived of parents”. Verse 18 uses the word comfortless which includes ideas of care, support, provision, and enablement. Over the next few weeks, we will further examine this most thorough plan of God and outlined in His Holy Word. Not only is God’s plan perfect but His timing is perfect.

Sherman ReedHis,

Sherman R Reed
CH (COL) USA, retired