In Jesus’ time, people used the word parakletos as a legal term for court advocate. For this reason, many Bible translations use the word “Advocate” instead of “Helper” or “Comforter.” In Greek courts, a paraclete would be someone who would testify on your behalf, supporting your case, defending your cause. The Spirit reveals and speaks the truth. The Spirit provides testimony – not just for Jesus’ disciples, but for the world to discover and know the truth of Jesus.
We can remember that the Holy Spirit is our advocate, especially in the midst of trials. When Jesus shares his last words with his friends, he doesn’t shy away from the truth that things will be hard for his friends. Following Jesus by loving God’s world and all the people in it is not for the faint of heart. This is why Jesus gifted us, the followers of Jesus, with the Holy Spirit.
This message is excerpted from the Bible study “The gift of the Spirit: A divine wild goose chase” by Sara Olson-Smith in the September/October 2021 Gather magazine.
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