And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Jump to: Barnes • BI • Calvin • Clarke • Chry • Darby • Gill • GSB • Guzik • Homiletics • JFB • MHC • MHCW • PNT • PUL • SCO • • VWS • WES • TSKRomans 8:34; Hebrews 4:14-15; Hebrews 7:25. It is as the result of his intercession in heaven that we obtain all our blessings, and it is through him that our prayers are to be presented and made efficacious before God.
Another Comforter - Jesus had been to them a counsellor, a guide, a friend, while he was with them. He had instructed them, had borne with their prejudices and ignorance, and had administered consolation to them in the times of despondency. But he was about to leave them now to go alone into an unfriendly world. The other Comforter was to be given as a compensation for his absence, or to perform the offices toward them which he would have done if he had remained personally with them. And from this we may learn, in part, what is the office of the Spirit. It is to furnish to all Christians the instruction and consolation which would be given by the personal presence of Jesus, John 16:14. To the apostles it was particularly to inspire them with the knowledge of all truth, John 14:26; John 15:26. Besides this, he came to convince men of sin. See the notes at John 16:8-11. It was proper that such an agent should be sent into the world:
1. Because it was a part of the plan that Jesus should ascend to heaven after his death.
2. Unless some heavenly agent should be sent to carry forward the work of salvation, man would reject it and perish.
3. Jesus could not be personally and bodily present in all places with the vast multitudes who should believe on him. The Holy Spirit is omnipresent, and can reach them all. See the notes at John 16:7.
4. It was manifestly a part of the plan of redemption that each of the persons of the Trinity should perform his appropriate work the Father in sending his Son, the Son in making atonement and interceding, and the Spirit in applying the work to the hearts of men.
The word translated "Comforter" is used in the New Testament five times. In four instances it is applied to the Holy Spirit - John 14:16, John 14:26; John 15:26; John 16:7. In the other instance it is applied to the Lord Jesus - 1 John 2:1; "We have an advocate (Paraclete - Comforter) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." It is used, therefore, only by John. The verb from which it is taken has many significations. Its proper meaning is to call one to us Acts 27:20; then to call one to aid us, as an advocate in a court; then to exhort or entreat, to pray or implore, as an advocate does, and to comfort or console, by suggesting reasons or arguments for consolation. The word "comforter" is frequently used by Greek writers to denote an advocate in a court; one who intercedes; a monitor, a teacher, an assistant, a helper. It is somewhat difficult, therefore, to fix the precise meaning of the word. It may be translated either advocate, monitor, teacher, or helper. What the office of the Holy Spirit in this respect is, is to be learned from what we are elsewhere told he does. We learn particularly from the accounts that our Saviour gives of his work that that office was:
1. to comfort the disciples; to be with them in his absence and to supply his place; and this is properly expressed by the word Comforter.
3. to aid them in their work; to advocate their cause, or to assist them in advocating the cause of religion in the world, and in bringing sinners to repentance; and this may be expressed by the word advocate, John 16:7-13. It was also by the Spirit that they were enabled to stand before kings and magistrates, and boldly to speak in the name of Jesus, Matthew 10:20. These seem to comprise all the meanings of the word in the New Testament, but no single word in our language expresses fully the sense of the original.
That he may abide with you for ever - Not that he should remain with you for a few years, as I have done, and then leave you, but be with you in all places to the close of your life. He shall be your constant guide and attendant.
Another Comforter - The word παρακλητος signifies not only a comforter, but also an advocate, a defender of a cause, a counsellor, patron, mediator. Christ is thus termed, 1 John 2:1, where the common translation renders the word advocate. Christ is thus called, because he is represented as transacting the concerns of our souls with God; and for this cause, he tells us, he goes unto the Father, John 14:12. The Holy Spirit is thus called, because he transacts the cause of God and Christ with us, explains to us the nature and importance of the great atonement, shows the necessity of it, counsels us to receive it, instructs us how to lay hold on it, vindicates our claim to it, and makes intercessions in us with unutterable groanings. As Christ acted with his disciples while he sojourned with them, so the Holy Ghost acts with those who believe in his name.
For ever - As the death and atonement of Christ will be necessary to man till the conclusion of the world, so the office of the Holy Spirit must be continued among men till the end of time: therefore says Christ, he shall continue with you for ever, teaching, comforting, advising, defending, and interceding for you and for all my followers to the end of time.
and he shall give you another Comforter. This is no inconsiderable proof of a trinity of persons in the Godhead; here is the Father prayed unto, the Son in human nature praying, and the Holy Ghost the Comforter prayed for; who is the gift of the Father, through the prevalent mediation of the Son, and is another "Comforter"; distinct from the Messiah, to whom reference is here had! One of the names of the Messiah, with the Jews, is (u), "a Comforter"; such an one Jesus had been to his disciples; and now he was about to leave them, and for their support under their sorrows, he promises to use his interest with his Father, that he would give them another Comforter, meaning the Spirit, who performs this his work and office, by taking of the things of Christ, and showing them to his people; by shedding abroad the love of the Father, and of the Son, into their hearts; by opening and applying the precious promises of the Gospel to them; by being a spirit of adoption in them; and by abiding with them as the seal, earnest, and pledge of their future glory; and with this view Christ promises to pray for him,
that he may abide with you for ever: not a few years only, as I have done, but as long as you live; and with all those that shall succeed you in the work of the ministry, and with the church, and all true believers unto the end of the world: this is a proof of the saints' final perseverance. When we consider these words, in connection with the preceding exhortation, to keep the commands of Christ, and as an encouragement so to do, it brings to mind a saying of R. Eliezer ben Jacob (w);
"he that does one commandment gets for himself , , the very word here used, "one advocate", or "comforter"; and he that transgresses one command, gets for himself one accuser.''
But though the word signifies both an advocate and a comforter, the latter seems to be the meaning of it here, as being more suited to the disconsolate condition of the disciples.And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
he shall give you another Comforter—a word used only by John; in his Gospel with reference to the Holy Spirit, in his First Epistle (1Jo 2:1), with reference to Christ Himself. Its proper sense is an "advocate," "patron," "helper." In this sense it is plainly meant of Christ (1Jo 2:1), and in this sense it comprehends all the comfort as well as aid of the Spirit's work. The Spirit is here promised as One who would supply Christ's own place in His absence.I will pray the Father. Rather, request. The Greek word eratao is not the one used when we are bidden to pray; proseuchomai is. The creature prays; the Son requests.
He shall give you another Comforter. The Holy Spirit; the Helper. The latter word more nearly expresses the idea of the Greek term parakletos than the word Comforter.
Abide with you for ever. The Lord had been with them over three years, but is about to depart. Henceforth he will abide with them, not in person, but by the Holy Spirit that he shall send. Through this agency he will be with his people always.Verses 16-21. -
(c) The greatest Gift - the other Advocate. Verses 16, 17, - Consequent on this obedient love, conditioned by it, is the Lord's assurance: And I will ask the Father - ἐρωτᾷν is used of an asking which is based on close and intimate fellowship; it is the word which implies the presentation of wish or a desire from an equal to an equal, while αἰτεῖν represents the prayer or seeking which rises from an inferior to a superior (see note, John 16:26, and other usage of the same words, John 17:9, 15, 20) - and he will give - make a Divine and free manifestation of himself by his Spirit, give to you as your inalienable possession - another Paraclete, that he may be with you for evermore. Great deference is due to the Greek expositors, beginning with Chrysostom, who translate this word "Comforter," and who point back to the LXX. παρακαλεῖτε (Isaiah 40:1), and because παρακλήσις very often, if not always, means "consolation;" but the word is passive in form, and denotes "one called in," or "called to the side of another," for the purpose of helping him in any way, but especially in legal proceedings and criminal charges, so that the word "Advocate," Pleader for us and in us, is the translation that most generally is accepted by almost all modern expositors. "Another" implies that Christ had already stood in this position while present with them, helping with tender care their first efforts to stand or serve. John (1 John 2:1) distinctly says, "We have now a Paraclete with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous," etc. And in this place (Ver. 17) the coming of the Paraclete was his own true return to his disciples. The following is the substance of Westcott's "additional note" on this word: "The two renderings of Paraclete as ' Comforter' in the Gospel, and 'Advocate' in the Epistle, are found in the English versions, with exception of Rhenish, from Wickliffe to Authorized Version and Revised Version. In the ancient versions, with the exception of Thebaic, the original word Paracletus is preserved. Its passive form by all analogous words will not justify here an active or transitive sense, but means 'one called to the side of another' with the secondary sense of helping, consoling, counseling, or aiding him. The classical use is 'advocate,' so used in Demosthenes, not found in LXX. Philo uses it in the same sense, and the rabbinic writers adopt the Greek word פרקליט, in opposition to 'accuser.' The apostolic Fathers use the word in this sense, but the patristic writers, Origen, Cyril, Gregory of Nyssa, Use it for ' Comforter.' In 1 John it. I no other word is satisfactory but 'Advocate,' and the suggestion is that the only meaning here that is adequate is that of one who pleads, convinces, convicts in a great controversy, who strengthens on the one hand, and defends on the other. Christ, as the Advocate, pleads the believer's cause with the Father against the accuser (1 John 2:1; Romans 8:26; Revelation 12:10). The Holy Spirit, as the Advocate, pleads the cause of the believer against the world (John 16:8), and pleads Christ's cause with the believer (John 14:26; John 15:26; John 16:14)." Archdeacon Watkins has presented a large portion of the Talmudic evidence to the same effect. Thus from the 'Pirke Aboth,' 4:11, "He that keepeth one commandment obtains for himself one paraklit, but he who committeth one sin obtains for himself one kattegor (κατήγορος)." The word was incorporated into the Syrian language, as seen in the Peshito Syriac translation, both of the Gospel and the First Epistle of John. The Advocate who is to be with the disciples forever, arguing down opposition and silencing cavil, is the Spirit of truth. The abundant proof of this great function of the Holy Spirit is not wanting. There is Christ's promise (Matthew 10:19, 20; Mark 13:9-11). Then in Acts 4:8 and 13, whatever Christ had been to the twelve, that would the other Advocate, Mediator of Divine grace, be to the whole Church when the Lord's earthly manifestation should terminate. The genitive after "Spirit" sometimes denotes its great characteristic (cf. Romans 1:4, "the Spirit of holiness;" Romans 8:15, "Spirit of bondage" and "of adoption;" but in the same context we have "Spirit of God," "the Spirit;" Ephesians 1:17, "Spirit of wisdom and revelation; cf. also Romans 8:9, "Spirit of Christ;" 1 Peter 4:14, "the Spirit of glory"); and the idea is that this other Advocate, even the Spirit of truth, shall reveal truth to the disciples, convince them of truth, as Christ had done. Whom the world cannot receive. There are antipathies between "the world" (as conceived by St. John) and "truth," which will render the world strangely unsusceptible of Divine teaching. Still, since the whole process of conviction is the distinct effect of the Holy Spirit upon the world (see John 16.), the λάβειν must not mean that the world cannot accept its convincing power, but cannot exert its power of convincing. Through apostles, who are his organs and representatives, the world will be convinced, and not apart from them. Because it seeth him not (θεωρεῖ) - does not behold him in his external revelations - and knoweth him not by personal experience, "is not learning to know him" as these disciples even hitherto have been able to do in Christ. The world has proved by its rejection of Christ that it cannot behold the Divine energy in him, nor perceive by any inward experience his nature or the real nature of God; but ye, said Christ, are now learning to know him; for he abideth with you. He has begun his abiding presence with you, and shall be in you; and this state of things will continue to the end of time. "The future shows that the whole matter belongs to the domain of futurity" (Hengstenberg). The world cannot "receive," because it is dependent on visible things, and it cannot know because it cannot behold. You have no need to behold, and can and do know by another process. The passage is very difficult, because, if the world cannot receive the Spirit by reason of its own unspirituality and ignorance, how is the threefold conviction to be realized? May λάβειν be regarded in the sense of καταλάμβανειν, "to seize hold of"? Rost and Palm give the following instances of this use of λαμβανεῖν in Homer: ' Od.,' 6:81; 8:116; ' II.,' 5:273; Herod., 4:130, etc. (cf. John 19:1; Revelation 8:5). If so, the whole of this passage would read, "He will give you another Helper or Advocate, that he may be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth whom the world cannot seize (or take from you), because it beholdeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye are learning to know him, because he, according to the eternal laws of his being, dwelleth with you, and will be in you, and be altogether beyond the malice of the world."
G. Parakletos, "one called alongside to help." Translated "advocate," 1Jn 2:1. Christ is the believer's Paraclete with the Father when he sins; the Holy Spirit the believer's indwelling Paraclete to help his ignorance and infirmity and to make intercession Rom 8:26,27.
(See "Holy Spirit," N.T. doctrine,) Mt 1:18. See Scofield Note: "Acts 2:4".
Margin And I will
See on John 11:22.
Only in John's Gospel and First Epistle (John 14:16, John 14:26; John 15:26; John 16:7; 1 John 2:13. From παρά, to the side of, and καλέω, to summon. Hence, originally, one who is called to another's side to aid him, as an advocate in a court of justice. The later, Hellenistic use of παρακαλεῖν and παράκλησις, to denote the act of consoling and consolation, gave rise to the rendering Comforter, which is given in every instance in the Gospel, but is changed to advocate in 1 John 2:1, agreeably to its uniform signification in classical Greek. The argument in favor of this rendering throughout is conclusive. It is urged that the rendering Comforter is justified by the fact that, in its original sense, it means more than a mere consoler, being derived from the Latin confortare, to strengthen, and that the Comforter is therefore one who strengthens the cause and the courage of his client at the bar: but, as Bishop Lightfoot observes, the history of this interpretation shows that it is not reached by this process, but grew out of a grammatical error, and that therefore this account can only be accepted as an apology after the fact, and not as an explanation of the fact. The Holy Spirit is, therefore, by the word παράκλητος, of which Paraclete is a transcription, represented as our Advocate or Counsel, "who suggests true reasonings to our minds, and true courses of action for our lives, who convicts our adversary, the world, of wrong, and pleads our cause before God our Father." It is to be noted that Jesus as well as the Holy Spirit is represented as Paraclete. The Holy Spirit is to be another Paraclete, and this falls in with the statement in the First Epistle, "we have an advocate with God, even Jesus Christ." Compare Romans 8:26. See on Luke 6:24. Note also that the word another is ἄλλον, and not ἕτερον, which means different. The advocate who is to be sent is not different from Christ, but another similar to Himself. See on Matthew 6:24.
With you (μεθ' ὑμῶν)
Notice the three prepositions used in this verse to describe the Spirit's relation to the believer. With you (μετά), in fellowship; by you (παρά), in His personal presence; in you (ἐν), as an indwelling personal energy, at the springs of the life.
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