Following up on yesterday’s article, a few verses later, Jesus is continuing his message to the disciples:
“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14:25-27 NIV
Here again, like in John 14:16-17, Jesus promises the Holy Spirit. Just as verse 18 describes a family, this passage promises peace. While human beings still argue, fight, and go to war with each other, the larger battle has been won. Thanks to Jesus, sinful people can be reconciled to God, and we experience what the Jewish people called – and still call – “shalom”. That’s not just the absence of conflict, but also harmony with God.
An approximate comparison for the term “advocate” might be the role of a good lawyer, today. There are all sorts of lawyers, but the idea of the Holy Spirit as an advocate here is like the best lawyer we can think of (maybe Ben Matlock or Perry Mason, but even better than them). Like a lawyer knows the law better than most of us, the Holy Spirit knows the truth better than we do. He has direct access to the judge of the universe. He is more articulate than we are, even as He knows us better than we know ourselves. See Romans 8:26-27. (And, He doesn’t charge by the hour.)
With the Holy Spirit advocating for us, we have freedom, too (see 2 Corinthians 3:17-18). We were certainly guilty of sin and the sentencing requirements were clear. However, when our punishment was paid for, and we accepted it, we became free. (Not free to go out and return to a life of sin, but free to get a fresh start.) Freedom and peace go hand-in-hand, when we listen to and follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and let Him be our Advocate.
The disciples were about to be greatly challenged to find peace through the next few days, as Jesus was about to be unfairly tried and executed, before being raised to life again. In addition, persecution set in against the early church in later years, costing most of the disciples their lives. Still, Jesus offered them peace, despite their circumstances. In the same way, when we struggle to find peace today, God’s peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7) is available – even in the particular form of chaos that we live in now.
While there is still a spiritual battle being waged for the souls of human beings on this earth, the presence of the Holy Spirit tells us that our conflict with God has been taken care of, and that God can dwell with us in our redeemed state (not because we’re good enough, but because Jesus was).
Are you at peace with God? I hope that everyone who reads this has accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and is spending time with God on a regular basis, building that relationship and enjoying both freedom and peace. If not, whether you haven’t accepted reconciliation with God through Jesus, or whether you are still fighting against Jesus’ commands, I hope that you will pause and turn back to God. What He offers can’t be found anywhere else in the world.
Once you have found that shalom (peace and more), are you aware of your relationship with the Holy Spirit? Followers of Jesus today, especially in the Western hemisphere, don’t necessarily talk about Him as much as God the Father and God the Son, yet the Bible has much to say about Him. Do we remember His advocacy for us, and thank Him for standing up on our behalf? This advocate from Jesus is here to help us live like God wants us to. We’re not left in the courtroom of the universe on our own.
- The College Press NIV Commentary – John, by Beauford H. Bryant and Mark S. Krause, pages 305-309. © 1998 College Press Publishing Co.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.