The Paraclete of Pentecost
Jesus made a startling announcement to His disciples in John chapter 14. This He confirmed in John chapter 15 and chapter 16. Do yourself a favour and read these passages aloud, pondering as you read.
Firstly, He tells them that He is going away. Secondly He informs them that its to their advantage. Thirdly He emphasized a number of times the coming of the Holy Spirit, using this unique Greek word ‘Paraclete’. Little more about it later. This you will find in John 14: 16-18 ; John 15:26 and John 16:7-16 . Make time and take time to read these Scriptures.
Put yourself in the disciple’s shoes when Jesus made this announcement. They must have wondered what life would be without Jesus physical presence. Here they have been going around from place to place, seeing the most amazing miracles and living with and sitting under the teachings of Jesus. What could possibly be better?
Jesus was adamant and insistent on the Holy Spirit as benefactor that He went and prayed to the Father to give the disciples the Paraclete. It is a special kind of prayer where the word ‘erotao’ is used, meaning ‘to present a case’ before the Father for the Holy Spirit to come, and be with them forever. Please note that this Paraclete was for the disciples then and for the disciples now. Jesus was saying by implication that the disciples needed the Holy Spirit.
The Bible states in the beatitudes (Matt5) that ‘Blessed is the man who depends on God’. The old translation used to say: ‘blessed is the poor in spirit’. It also blesses God when we rely upon His Holy Spirit. We need to have a special relationship with the Spirit of God just as Jesus had. His birth was by the Spirit. His dedication on the 8th day was by the Spirit as God spoke prophetically through Simeon and Anna. His water baptism by John at the Jordan saw the Holy Spirit came down like a dove and remained on Him. Jesus claimed that He did what He does because He was anointed of the Holy Spirit and lastly it was the same Spirit that raised Him from the dead. Rom 8:11.
We’ve just celebrated the Ascension of Jesus just like it happened more than 2000 years ago. The disciples were commanded to wait in Jerusalem for 10 days and in Acts 2 the Great day of Pentecost happened in the most powerful way as the Holy Ghost came like a mighty wind and tongues of fire was sitting on each of the 120 that was present. This proves that God answered Jesus’s ‘erotao’ prayer. His pleading a case before God, was approved and accepted.
The Holy Spirit has been here ever since. It is time for us as His disciples, to buy into this very same command, and recognize our need for the Holy Ghost, for all life.
Paraclete; combined ‘para’ and kaleo’
The word paraclete means a number of things. It means, Helper. We need help. God only comes and aids those who get involved doing and living what they believe and sharing what little they have and know.
It also means, Advocate. It’s a legal term. The Spirit of God will plead our case before Gods throne. He will Guide us. Expect His leading in all things. He will Teach us. He is the Spirit of Truth. He will instruct and remind us. He is also the Comforter. Our humanity is ever before us.
At times we lose hope and trust and therefore needs comforting. When we lose strength, courage and energy, He is our Strengthener. This word also mean Standby as well as Intercessor.
Para means ‘to come alongside’ while ‘kaleo’ means ‘called’. The Holy Spirit sees His function as a Calling to Come alongside you and me. Lets make use of this blessed Gift from the Father.
Needless to say that the miraculous and the Supernatural happened in the most glorious fashion after Pentecost through ordinary men and woman who was endowed with this power from on High.
Please note that these things happened while Jesus was physically absent. These disciples also went through difficulties but God intervened time after time.
Let me state here categorically that the presence of darkness and difficulty does not imply the absence of the Holy Spirit. Jesus prayed that He would be with us forever. And He is. Stop and think about it for a moment. God, the Holy Ghost, is here right now, at your side. He came as the Paraclete. It is time to ask the Father to enable you to have this relationship with the Holy Spirit. Communion with Him means fellowship, friendship, partnership and communication. See 2 Cor 13;14.
Its for all of us. Its for such a time as this.
Together in His Service.
Ps William Coraizin