And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Among the many sources of trouble which disquieted the disciples we can distinguish four. And for each of these our Lord provides an adequate consolation.
1. The pang of separation from a beloved Master. For this His consolation is, that such separation shall not be forever (vers. 2, 3).
2. The fear lest, in proclaiming their message, they should not be able to appeal to those "mighty signs and wonders" with which our Lord Himself had demonstrated the Divine origin of His mission. For this He gives them the assurance that they should even perform greater wonders (ver. 12).
3. That they should not have their Divine Master to fly to when they might require protection and provision. The answer to this was that our Lord would secure to them a perpetual access to God in prayer (ver. 13).
4. The painful consciousness that they should no longer have the wisdom of their Master to guide them in their proclamation of the gospel. For this our Lord provided in the text. Consider this blessing —
I. IN ITS SOURCE: as it arises from the mediation of Christ Himself. "I will pray the Father." This does not mean that the Father is unwilling to bestow, but that in the order of the eternal counsels Christ must "ascend up on high" to "receive gifts for men." Large and blessed as were the results of our Lord's personal ministry, yet all the blessings which attend the promulgation of the gospel spring directly from the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, the result of Christ's intercession.
II. IN ITS EFFICACY: as able to impart a consolation equal to that of Christ Himself. Large and dreary must have been the void created by Christ's departure. But He would not go away until He had provided "another Comforter." "I will send One to you, who shall achieve for you mightier, more abundant, more lasting benefits. I will send that blessed Spirit, whose office shall be to seal and to hind upon your souls all those comforting promises which you have heard from Me; who shall recall all My discourses to you, and enable you to pour out your prayers to God by reason of His 'groanings which cannot be uttered.'"
III. IN HIS PARTICULAR OFFICE OF SPIRITUAL ILLUMINATION we are to have "the Spirit of Truth" —
1. To instruct us in all points of doctrine. It is the office of the Spirit to take of the things of Christ and to show them to the soul; to reveal the mysteries of redemption. Thus we see that this office of the Spirit must be a great comfort to those destitute of human learning. Having One to "guide into all truth," the poor and the wayfaring have the assurance that the whole mind of God shall be made plain to them, as much as to the greatest genius that ever tenanted the soul of man.
2. To direct us in all the practical concerns of life. "He shall teach you all things."
IV. IN ITS EXCLUSIVENESS: as applying to all true believers. Christ does not say, "Whom the Lord will not give"; but, "Whom the world cannot receive." Why cannot the world receive Him? "Because it seeth Him not." Why does not the world see the Spirit? Is it from deficiency of evidence? No, but because they will not see. They close the shutter, and complain of darkness. Every worldly man is permitted to witness the daily operations of God's Spirit in the world. Let him look abroad and see the transforming power of religion, the revivals in many Christian Churches, the changed habits of many families, and of many souls, brought under the power of God's Spirit. Seeth it not! — might he not as well say that he seeth not the wind? He sees the ocean roused into tempest, etc.; will he tell us he cannot see the wind?
V. IN ITS PERMANENCE. He is not a stranger to visit; He is not a traveller, to sojourn for a season; but He is a friend, to abide and dwell.
(D. Moore, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;