So many times we confuse words that sound alike but have entirely different meanings from one another. Such is the topic of our discussion tonight. The word “paraclete” is one that we don’t use in our modern English very often. In fact, many times, people think that I am saying “parakeet” – talking about those little green or blue colored parrots that are so common as home companions. But that’s not what I’m speaking about at all. There really is a word “paraclete” that is an important word for us, as Christians, to understand and appreciate.
The middle English word, borrowed from the Latin, and originally Greek, refers to someone who walks beside us. It can also mean “comforter” or one who assists us. The word “paraclete” is comprised of Greek words that mean to be around, walk alongside, be next to, or even remain next to. It can also mean to advocate for, assist, help or comfort. It is a powerful word and, get this, is also used to refer to the presence of the Holy Spirit. After all, when Jesus was getting ready to depart the earth and return to heaven, He told us that the Father would send another to be a comfort to us. We now know that at Pentecost the people who were assembled experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit that day.
The Holy Spirit, while a part of the Trinity, is distinctly different from the Father and Jesus. Each member of the Trinity has different attributes and while all three parts of the Godhead are equal, they seem to have an internal hierarchy that is led by the Father, who is in Heaven. His only begotten Son, Jesus, came to live among us – and the Holy Spirit actually lives within each believer. As every believer knows, Jesus came to do the will of the Father and that we would be comforted by the Holy Spirit after Jesus returned to heaven.
As you can see, as God chose to reveal more of Himself to mankind, the relationship became more intimate – finally revealed by the fact that we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. So it makes sense that the Holy Spirit is also referred to as a paraclete. That’s because once we have accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are in permanent, eternal communion with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit comforts each of us, remains with us throughout eternity, assists us in our daily lives and advocates for us with the other parts of the Godhead.
Not only that, but one of the ministries of the Holy Spirit is to intercede for us when we are too upset or confused or unable to even know what to pray for. That’s right – when we don’t have the words – or don’t even know what to say – the Holy Spirit takes over and prays for us to the other parts of the Trinity. How’s that for an advocate – one who cares for us so much that we even get prayed for!
God’s plan for those who believe in Him is beyond our comprehension. We can’t fathom how much we are loved by God – and nothing that we can do will separate us from God’s love. Our verse for tonight is from the apostle John and something that he wrote in the Gospel that bears his name. John tells us, in John 14:15-16, “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray (to) the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever…”
Notice that John tells us that the Comforter (the Holy Spirit) will abide in us, or remain with us, for ever! My encouragement tonight is that each believer is already indwelt by the Paraclete – a divine Comforter who advocates for us and does all the other things that are a reflection of God’s love for us. My prayer is that will all become more familiar with our Paraclete – the one who remains with us – whether or not we have a parakeet! Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…