Everybody every now and then needs help to overcome the pains of this life! When Help comes to the believer it is always right on time. Especially when it is divine in essence and supernatural in power!
The power in our text this morning is the assurance of knowing that God knows just what we need. Even when we don’t know what it would take or what it will cost, God knows.
In our lesson he demonstrates this fact and he reveals for the reader that he has clearly thought about our needs, and is at work continuously meeting them and serving them for His honor and His glory.
The disciples were in need of comfort because their hearts were heavy and their Spirits sad at the news that Jesus was leaving them and going back to be with his father!
This was more than they could understand. They had just heard that one of them was going to betray him, and that their leader (Peter) was also going to deny him!
It was a sad evening. However, Jesus would attempt to lift their spirits by telling them that although he was leaving them, He would be going to prepare a place for them and that when He comes back for them they would be able to come and dwell with Him in the Fathers’ house.
He would also make them a promise that everything would be alright because His father was going to make all things good. He was going to send them a HELPER that would keep them, and help them until the Son of God came back for them.
There are three things that I have learned from this passage:
- God is always looking out for his children.
- God is concerned about the discouragement that we feel.
- God has gone before the church and thought of all that she needs and has supplied for her needs.
GOD KNOWS JUST WHAT YOU NEED.
First, we see a charge to help the disciples with their sorrow given by the Master in verse fifteen:
15“If you love Me, keep My commandments.
It is the command to keep his commandments. Jesus knows that if they do this it will combat the sadness that is trying to overtake their hearts.
He also says if you love me, then you will do this! The first thing I see is a conditional requirement prior to the charge; the requirement being that IF you love me, you will do the following thing!
Why love Him? I believe the conditional requirement is given because the blessing is in the latter part of the charge. If they love him, they will receive the blessing! The blessing lies in their obedience. If they obey, they will receive something that will help them in their sorrow.
Perhaps it’s by keeping the commandments that they would turn their hearts from what they perceived is wrong to what God wanted them to do for him on the earth. He wanted them to keep his commands, to trust in his word and adhere to his standard. He wanted to identify what he had in store for them and to trust and follow him even in his physical absence.
Sometimes in this life the believer needs to remember what Jesus gave us to do, so that we too can escape from the sorrow of this life. It’s the word of God that helps us to be lifted up, and that separates us from those thoughts that come to take us prisoner and do us the greatest harm.
- Have you ever had bad thoughts to take you hostage and steal your joy?
- Have you ever had sadness and sorrow to arrest you and keep you from enjoying life and loving God?
- Have you ever had your circumstances to take away the pleasure of loving God?
- Won’t the troubles of this life interrupt your memories of how good God is to you?
This is why Jesus commands them to keep his commandments.
‘If you Love me, KEEP my commandments.’
He knew that their love for Him and His Word could trump anything else that might try to draw them away from Him.
It is said that the young son of Bishop Berkeley once asked him the question, “Papa, what do the words, ‘cherubim’ and ‘seraphim’ mean?”
The bishop took time to tell the little questioner that ‘cherubim’ was a Hebrew word meaning knowledge and the word ‘seraphim’ stood for flame—explaining that it is commonly supposed the cherubim are angels that excel in knowledge and the seraphim are those who excel in love for God.
“Then I hope,” the boy said, “that when I die I will be a seraphim. I’d a lot rather love God than to know everything.”
Jesus wants these disciples to have a love like this boy, knowing that if they loved Him, they would keep his commandments!
In verse 16, we discover the comfort that Jesus offers to the disciples, along with the promise that He is going to do a supernatural act on their behalf that will give them what they will need in His absence!
16And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—
He says I am going to pray to the father:
“The word translated pray, is the word used to describe a superior-being, praying to another superior-being making a request of his equal.”
There is no other being in the universe capable of making such a request! Only Jesus can make this request of His father. This sole incident is worthy of us stopping and paying attention too. This mention is divine in that God himself is making such a request that he wants us to know this conversation can only be made by Him; it is a request that has to be granted because it comes from an equal that seeks to bring their equivalent honor and glory.
Jesus only asks that His father may be glorified. This request not only blesses and helps the disciples, but it also brings glory to the father!
One scholar notes, “The Lord would PRAY that the Father send another helper.”
The HOLY SPIRIT is another helper—not another of a different kind, but another of the same kind or similar Kind.
Another kind simply means that same Jesus they have become accustomed to will send his Spirit who will help them through this current difficulty. The word Helper (Paraclete) means one called to the side of another to help. Jesus knew that they would need the same kind of help in his absence, and no one else could satisfy or serve them like he could. So he would send them His Spirit to care for them! God the Spirit Himself would come and finish what the Son had started.
The story “God will Take Care of You” was written on a Sunday afternoon by a pastor’s wife. She was very ill and in bed, but her husband had to go to a meeting. He was reluctant to leave her. She said, “Don’t worry, God will take care of you.”
While her husband was away, she thought of the wonderful truths in her own words, and wrote this poem. Her husband returned and later composed it to music.
Jesus, being God, also knew that he would take care of the disciples. He knew he would come along side of them in the Spirit and see them through whatever would come their way!
In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit came upon them, but did not dwell with them. However, now he would come to live inside of them and remain forever!
Jesus knew that they did not need just the impartation of his grace, but they needed the full indwelling of His grace.
They did not need him to come and rest upon them, but they needed him to tarry with them, live in them, walk with them, and talk with them. They needed him to sing with them, shadow them, carry them, and lead and guide them every step of the way!
Here this comforting promise given by Jesus is powerful because He knows just what they need in the midst of their trouble!
They were worried about not being able to see him, hear him, or have him, in their company, but Jesus would comfort them by revealing his plan for their lives!
GOD KNOWS JUST WHAT YOU NEED.
- Gods plan for them did not involve them being lonely!
- Gods plan for them did not involve them being without a shepherd!
- Gods plan for them did not involve them living without him!
- Gods plan for them did not involve them trying to make it in this life without him!
- Gods plan for them did not involve them living without divine wisdom, guidance, protection, grace, mercy, provision, communion and community!
He was going to send them the comforter…
(If they loved Him they would keep his commandments, and this love of Him would enable Him to work on their behalf, by sending another helper to look after them.)
His ministry in their hearts would come alongside of them as they trudged through this evil world! He would come alongside by living in them, serving them, guiding them, lifting them, encouraging them, providing for them, and making a divine presence in their lives!
When it comes to the believer, I am encouraged today. When I look at this text I can see the divine favor of the child of God in this life!
Jesus has not left us without help to make it through this barren land! By giving us his Spirit, Jesus has been more than good to us! We too have had, and are continuing to have, the divine favor of God in our lives—because God lives in us!
While he lives in us, he continues to take care of us and to smile on us; he continues to serve us, care for us, provide for us, lead and guide us. He direct us, superintend to our needs, lifts up our bowed down hearts, and moves supernaturally in every area of our lives!
- I don’t know where we would be without the Lord!
- I don’t believe we could’ve made it this far without the Lord!
- I don’t believe that we would be in our right minds without the Lord!
- We would’ve given up a long time ago without the Lord.
- We would be lost and headed for hell without the Lord.
- I am glad today that he walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow road.
- The Holy Spirit is my comforter, my king, my way maker, my guide and my compass.
- He is the fulfilled promise of the savior in every area of my life!
- He has come along side of me, and made his residence in me…He is my Paraclete!
GOD KNOWS JUST WHAT YOU NEED.
In the final two verses of this passage, Jesus identifies the ministry of the Holy Spirit!
17the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
He is connecting the disciples with the one who will come and continue to totally transform, their way of life!
- He identifies Him as the Spirit of Truth.
- He identifies Him as the source of Truth.
- He identifies Him as the one who communicates Truth.
- He identifies Him as being the only way that men can know Truth.
The Holy Spirit is called the SPIRIT OF TRUTH because His teaching is true and He glorifies Christ who is the Truth!
As the one responsible for the illumination of men Jesus says that the world could not receive Him (the spirit of truth), because it they couldn’t see him.
Unbelievers want to see before they will believe! They would only believe if they saw and even then many would not believe in Him.
‘But you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.’
Here we see the difference between the believer and the non-believer:
- The believer can see the Holy Spirit because they believe in the Christ.
- The unbeliever cannot see the Holy Spirit because they do not believe in Christ!
When you believe in the Christ as the savior of the world, he dwells with you and will be in you! Because he dwells with you, we get to see the Holy Spirit at work in you, around you, beside you, in front of you, behind you, beneath you and all around you! HE DWELLS IN YOU!
However, this is not so for the unbeliever! Because they don’t believe, they don’t have access to the work of the Holy Spirit or His divine activity in the world or in the circumstances of life!
- Unbelievers are in the dark separated from God!
- God does not dwell in them or with them, but He does dwell in the believer.
The good news here is that the disciples know Him and He dwells in them, so they have no need to dwell in sorrow or sadness. The good news is that they have God with them and that everything is going to be alright.
The good news is that Jesus knew just what to give them in the midst of their pain; He promised to send them a comforter. He was the Spirit of Truth, He was going to do for them what Christ started in them, around them and through them.
God was working on their behalf, and it was a good thing to behold.
Yet another divine promise is revealed verse eighteen:
18I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
The word translated as orphans is also the word for “comfortless”. According to his promise, we are not alone, abandoned, helpless, or hopeless! Wherever we go, the Spirit is with us, so why should we feel like orphans? According to this passage, there is no need to have a troubled heart when you have the very Spirit of God dwelling within you!
The second promise we see is that He will come to us (I will come to you.)! Jesus knew just what to give them in their time of need!
Here, I love the care that he provides for them; he is the loving savior looking out for his children!
This promise of coming again has three connotations;
- I am coming again after my resurrection from the dead.
- I am coming again in the person of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
- I am coming again to take you from this world to be with me in Heaven.
All three of these connotations are correct theology for the believer. However, I believe he is talking about the great work of the Comforter in this text that is the one to come at the day of Pentecost.
- And because The Spirit of truth was coming, He is never going to leave them ever again.
- Because the Spirit of truth was coming, He is never going to be separate from them again
- Because The Spirit of truth was coming, He is never going to put them through this loneliness again.
- Because The Spirit of truth was coming, they will forever know that he is with them to the very ends of the earth.
- Because The Spirit of truth was coming, they would know that he loves them, serves them, feeds them, cares for them, walks with them, and meets every one of their needs.
As we close this morning, we leave you with these thoughts!
- God knows just what you need!
- Even in the midst of discouragement he knows what you need!
- Even in despair and grief he knows what you need!
- Even in sadness and sorrow he knows what you need!
- Even in loneliness and depression he knows what you need!
There is no sorrow that God cannot fix, for he has the left the believer the greatest gift they could ever have—The Comforter (Paraclete) and the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.
In Christ I am never alone; in Christ you are never alone!
Because of the Spirit of God, who dwells in me, I have an advocate and an intercessor!
- As my personal advocate He pleads my case before the Father.
- As my advocate he defends me and maintains my case before the Father.
- As my advocate he supports and promotes the interest of the Father in my mind and keeps me focused on what God’s agenda is for me.
As my intercessor he is always praying for me and speaking on my behalf.
- When I can’t get my prayers right, my intercessor says what I don’t know what to say.
- When I can’t get my thoughts right, He makes sense of them before the Father.
- When I have done all that I know how to do, He does the rest on my behalf.
He is my God, my friend and my voice. He is my access to the Father, my peace and my help in the time of need. He was the gift to me from the son who knew just what I would need to make it through this wicked land!
God knows what I need, God knows what you need, and God knows what we need! The disciples were given the best gift they could have—the gift of the Spirit of Christ to carry them the rest of the way!