Farewell Discourses – Part II

Posted by Thaddaeus.

John 14: 15-21


Jesus said to his disciples: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows him.  But you know him, because he remains with you, and will be in you.  I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.  In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live.  On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me.  And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”


Background:  This reading begs the question: what commandments are we to keep?  The Ten Commandments?  The 613 works of the Law?  Yes and yes.  Jesus commands his disciples to love one another as he loves them.  If we break this commandment, which of the Ten Commandments, or the 613 works of the law do we keep?  The law hinges on love of God and love of one another.  If we break one commandment, we break them all.  The spirit of the commandment is to love, to obey and believe in Him who is loved.  That is, to believe Jesus is the One sent by the Father.  The opposite of belief is not unbelief; rather disobedience.  To “believe” means “to trust.”  Jesus is the first Advocate (Gk., “Paraclete”), in the sense of an intercessor in heaven.  Paraclete means “along side of” like a defense attorney.  The continued presence of Jesus on earth; a moral force put into a person by God.  The Spirit of Truth.


Farewell Discourses – Part II:  This is why Jesus says he will give them another who will remind them of everything He taught and help them understand what he taught in various situations.  The Holy Spirit is the invisible presence of Jesus within us.  A new presence.  He shows that the Holy Spirit is His Spirit.  When He says He is given by the Father, He declares Him to be the Spirit of the Father also.  Thus, the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son according to the Nicene Creed.  The Holy Spirit kindles in everyone, in whom He dwells, the desire for things invisible.  It is like the gift of invisible eyes. This is why the lovers of the world can never see Him.  The world cannot accept this notion, because it neither sees nor knows Him.  The worldly mind in only able to see visible things.  The Holy Spirit can only be recognized through the eyes of faith.  Without trust in Jesus the Holy Spirit remains concealed from us.