The Comforter

April 2nd, 2009

“The Road goes ever on and on,

Down from the door where it began,

Now far ahead the road has gone,

And I must follow, if I can,

Pursuing it with eager feet,

Until it joins some larger way

Where many paths and errands meet.

(Bilbo Baggins. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.  The same poem in another version occurs in The Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship)

The Spirit is called in John 14:16-“another Comforter” (ASV, 1901).  The Greek is Paraclete. The Amplified New Testament includes a parentheses in Jn. 14:16 with additional phases of meaning associated with the Greek term Paraclete-“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener and Standby) that He may remain with you forever” [emphasis mine, RMH].  So, we see that this term has a wide array of significance.

Two major concepts about the Spirit appear in John 14:16-17

1.       The Spirit’s constant presence is promised to future followers of Jesus after his death and resurrection (Jn. 16:19-22,28).

2. This Spiritual presence will be a constant communion among future believers (see esp. 14:17 and 2 Cor. 13:14).

Wherever the road leads, the Comforter will be our comfort (2 Cor.1:3,4).

-Robert M. Housby