Jesus' Last Lesson for the Disciples
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter…
- John 14:16
I've often heard Christians ask, "I wonder what it must have been like to walk with Jesus. Wouldn't it be wonderful to walk with Him and to hear His voice and talk to Him?" But believers who ask these kinds of questions don't understand the ministry of the Holy Spirit. If they did, they'd know that having the Holy Spirit with them is just like having Jesus right at their side!
Because Jesus was about to depart from the world, He knew it was absolutely essential that the disciples learn how to rely entirely on the Spirit of God and to follow His leadership. Therefore, Jesus used His last moments to teach the disciples how to follow the Holy Spirit's leadership in the same way they had followed Him.
It must have seemed strange to the disciples as they listened to Jesus speak about the Holy Spirit. They had been accustomed to Jesus physically and visibly leading them, but now they were learning that the Spirit of God would become their Leader. This would be a Leader they couldn't see, couldn't touch, and couldn't audibly hear; yet they were supposed to follow Him just as they had followed Jesus. They were probably thinking, What is the Holy Spirit's leadership going to be like in our lives? Does He act and think differently than Jesus? What is it going to be like to follow the Spirit of God?
Knowing that these were normal questions to ask, Jesus used His final moments with the disciples to dispel all fear and insecurity they might have felt about following the Holy Spirit's leadership. This is why Jesus was so careful to use key words when He spoke to them about the coming of the Holy Spirit. In John 14:16, for example, Jesus said, "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter.…"
Notice the word "another" is italicized. I want to draw your attention to this very important word today. In Greek, there are two possible words for another. The first is the Greek word allos, and the second is the Greek word heteros. The word allos means one of the very same kind; same character; same everything; or nearly a duplicate. The second word, heteros, means one of another kind or one of a different kind. This word heteros forms the first part of the word heterosexual, which, of course, describes someone who has sexual relations with a person of the opposite sex.
The Greek word used in John 14:16 is the first word, allos. The word allos emphatically means that the Holy Spirit would be like Jesus in every way. This conveys a very strong and important message about the Holy Spirit. Jesus wanted the disciples to know that the Holy Spirit was just like Him. Following the Holy Spirit wouldn't be any different than following Him, except the Spirit's leadership would be invisible rather than physical and visible, as Jesus' leadership had been.
One translator says the word allos in John 14:16 could be translated to mean:
"I will pray the Father, and He will send you Someone who is just like Me in every way. He will be identical to Me in the way He speaks, the way He thinks, the way He operates, the way He see things, and the way He does things. He will be exactly like Me in every way. If the Holy Spirit is here, it will be just as if I am here because we think, behave, and operate exactly the same...."
Earlier in John 14, Philip told the Lord, "…Shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us" (John 14:8). Jesus answered, "…Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father" (John 14:9).
Jesus was the exact image of the Father when He walked on this earth. Hebrews 1:3 declares, "He is the sole expression of the glory of God [the Light-being, the out-raying or radiance of the divine], and He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God's] nature…" (Amplified Bible). This means Jesus reflected the character of His Heavenly Father in every way. That is why Jesus told Philip, "…He that hath seen me hath seen the Father…."
If you see Jesus, you see the Father. By looking at Jesus, you can discover the Father's will. Jesus did and said exactly what the Father would do and say. His life, attitudes, and actions were the absolute manifested will of the Father, for the two were united in nature, in character, in thought, and in deed.
As Jesus teaches the disciples about the Holy Spirit, He takes this truth one step further. Just as Jesus is the exact image of the Father in every way, now Jesus unmistakably tells the disciples that when the Holy Spirit comes, He will exactly represent Jesus in every word. That's why the word allos is used to make this point. It leaves no room for doubt that the Holy Spirit will be exactly like Jesus.
The word allos tells us the Holy Spirit perfectly represents the life and nature of Jesus Christ. Jesus did only what the Heavenly Father would do, and now the Holy Spirit will do only what Jesus would do. As Jesus' Representative on earth, the Holy Spirit never acts on His own or out of character with the life of Jesus Christ.
You see, the Spirit of God was sent to bring us the life of Jesus. Just as Jesus told Philip, "If you've seen Me, you've seen the Father," now He is telling us, "If you have the Holy Spirit, it will be just as if you have Me."
You and I must stop looking backward and grieving over what we missed by not living two thousands years ago. Instead, we must learn to let the Holy Spirit lead and guide us, just as He did in the Early Church. Jesus' physical absence didn't stop the early believers from performing miracles, raising the dead, casting out demons, healing the sick, or bringing multitudes to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Because the Holy Spirit was with them, the ministry of Jesus continued uninterrupted in their midst.
Why don't you start opening your heart to the work of the Spirit today? He wants to represent Jesus to you, your church, your family, your business, and your city, just as He did to believers who lived during the time of the book of Acts. Remember, if you have the Holy Spirit working alongside you, it's just like having Jesus right there at your side!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, help me learn how to work with the Holy Spirit! I don't want to waste time grieving over what I missed by not living two thousands years ago, so I ask You to teach me how to let the Spirit lead and guide me. Your Word teaches that because the Holy Spirit is with me, the ministry of Jesus can continue uninterrupted in my life today. Holy Spirit, I ask You to bring me into a greater knowledge of how to work with You so that the ministry of Jesus can continue through me!
I pray this in Jesus' name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I declare by faith that the Holy Spirit works mightily in my life. I know His voice; I discern His leading; and I boldly do what He tells me to do. Because I am obedient to His voice, the life of Jesus Christ is manifested in me. Having the Holy Spirit work with me is just like having Jesus right by my side all the time. Just as Jesus worked miracles in the book of Acts, the Holy Spirit works miracles through me today - healing the sick, casting out demons, and bringing salvation to the lost through Jesus Christ!
I declare this by faith in Jesus' name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- Can you say that the Holy Spirit is working powerfully in your life right now? If you say yes, what is the evidence that lets you know He is working mightily through you? Ponder this question, and write down your answers on a piece of paper.
- When you read the Gospels, does it seem like you're reading about the same Jesus who works in your life today - or about a historical Jesus who did things you've never experienced?
- What actions and changes do you need to take so the Holy Spirit can become a supernatural Partner in your life?