Throughout the years, I have been involved in mentoring several younger men and one of the things that I tell them is that I am an advocate for them. Sometimes they need encouragement, or someone to listen to them, or to just represent them when they are too worried or concerned or agitated to represent themselves.
And that’s where I come in. Because we all need someone to interact with us from time to time – and to help us through some of the more difficult things we encounter from time to time. Every now and then it’s a family issue – but it could just as well be something at work, or even a moral, ethical or spiritual matter. Mind you, I don’t have all the answers but I always want to make sure that I listen and then do everything I can to make sure that I do the best possible job that I can for them.
Many people don’t think that they have an advocate. That must be a lonely feeling – thinking that there isn’t anyone out there who believes in you, will go to bat for you or will invest in you. But if you are a Christ follower, you always have an advocate. You see, the apostles didn’t really understand this concept.
But Jesus, during the Last Supper, made sure that He told the disciples what to expect after Jesus left them. In fact, this weekend we heard a message at church on this very topic – as we are studying things that occurred during this most important gathering of Jesus with His closest followers.
Jesus had made it clear that He was going away. It must have been frightening for those eating with Him to hear this news. Jesus had washed their feet, instructed them on the tenets of servant leadership and then proceeded to let them know that they would not be alone. In fact, God the Father had a plan to send another advocate who would not only be among them, but would reside within each believer.
It was during this dinner that Jesus, possibly for the first time, really got into the mysteries of the Holy Spirit. Of the three members of the Trinity, most people have the most difficult time understanding the ministry of the Holy Spirit. We are told in the Scriptures that He is our Advocate and even prays on our behalf when we don’t even know what to pray for or how to pray.
While God the Father is above us, in heaven, He sent Jesus to live among us and then sent the Holy Spirit to indwell us – that is, to live within each believer. So… God above us, God among us, God in us. Notice how as God revealed more of Himself to us, God became more intimate in our lives.
Our verse for this evening is once again from the Gospel of John. Many decades after the Last Supper, John saw fit to write down his own recollections, a first hand account, of the things that happened with Jesus before the crucifixion. This as not a second or third hand account. John was the last of the apostles to die and he still remembered this Last Supper with the Messiah – choosing to record his memories for the rest of us.
John gives us the words of Jesus, in John 14:15-17, “If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.”
This was incredible news for them. And incredible news for us. Because it was only a short time later that the Holy Spirit arrived at what we refer to as Pentecost. My encouragement tonight is that God wants to make sure that we are never alone and the Holy Spirit ensures that this is the case. My prayer is that you will listen for the leading of the Holy Spirit and revel in the fact that you have an advocate every day of your life – one who encourages you, mentors you, represents you and cheers for you at every opportunity. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…