“…he will give you another Counsellor to be with you forever” John 14:16 (NIV)
Everyone who has had children knows something about how they are wired. Parents all know that every child is programmed to want to help mommy or daddy when something is being done in the home. When it is time to make muffins the child wants to stir the ingredients. They want to spoon the dough into the paper cups. Or if daddy is hammering something the child will run and get their toy hammer and hammer along also. This seems to be part of growing up, the desire to imitate and do what big people do.
As we get older we come to understand that there are many things we simply cannot do for ourselves. For example, when we have a toothache we do not try to fill the tooth ourselves or extract it. Instead, we go to the local dentist and have the work done by a professional.
We should not be embarrassed about the fact that in life we need help from an expert in different areas of life. Occasionally we may try to fix the problem ourselves only to get in too deep and have to cry for help. Occasionally the results of trying to help ourselves can be lethal. I recall doing the funeral of a young husband and father many years ago who died when he tried to start his car. He was pouring liquid gasoline down the carburettor and the engine backfired. The flame ignited the gas he was pouring into the engine and the burns he received were fatal.
There are times and situations that are altogether too much for us and we are wise if we recognize our need for expert help with our issues in life. This is the case when Jesus spoke the words in our text for today. Jesus was soon to leave them to go back to heaven and in preparing them for His departure He was assuring them of Someone who was coming to take His place. Jesus would never leave His people alone to get by on their own wits.
When Jesus calls Him “another Counsellor” He means another of the same kind, someone just like the first person. That is what the word “another” really means. As you look at the work of Jesus in this Gospel the things said of Jesus are also said of the Counsellor.
Also the word “Counsellor” conveys the idea of an advocate or one who pleads the case of another. Also this person will come alongside the followers of Jesus as a friend and helper to equip them for service. He will bring things to their memory concerning what Jesus said, He will teach them all they need to know in order to function at capacity in this life (John 14:26).
So Jesus wants the disciples to know they will be properly looked after when He goes away from them and they see Him no more. They are not abandoned or left to their own resources to live in this world. All the help they need will be given. This is Jesus’ promise. When he returns to heaven He will ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit, the Counsellor who will take His place and do the things Jesus was doing while visible among them.
This Counsellor is the gift of Jesus to every believer without exception. There is no distinction made by Jesus concerning this promise of the Holy Spirit. Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit will be with God’s people forever. He will never leave them for any reason.
Here is the needed comfort for those of us who are weary in the battle of life. Someone is there to help whose resources are infinite. His wisdom and counsel is perfect. He never misdirects us into more trouble or down the wrong road.
Do you have this Counsellor as your guide in life? Do you know His strength when you are weary? Have you come and asked for this help that all of us need in life? Jesus will give everyone this remarkable Person to all who ask for help. But you need to come to the end of yourself and recognize that you need help, that you cannot face life on your own.
Jesus will give you all that is needed in life. But you must come and seek Him for yourself. He invites all and receives those who seek Him. Come and come today.