And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
This designation of the Holy Spirit brings forward into prominence his work on earth and his relation to men. And this is the aspect in which the Spirit of God has most interest for us. The theologian properly studies the Third Person of the Trinity in relation to the Father and the Son. But to the Christian desirous of appropriating the blessings revealed by religion, there is great encouragement in this designation, "another Comforter."
I. THE PROMISE IS SUGGESTIVE OF HUMAN NEEDS. Why should a "Comforter" be provided? There must be something in the condition of men which makes the promise of a Divine Friend so appropriate and welcome. Men suffer from ignorance and proneness to error and delusion. They are encompassed with temptations which act powerfully, sometimes fatally, upon their frail and feeble nature. And those who are bent upon attaining true knowledge and practicing true virtue are exposed to the bitter hostility and opposition of the world.
II. THE PROMISE IS SUGGESTIVE OF THE CHARACTER AND THE OFFICES OF CHRIST HIMSELF. In promising another Comforter to come upon his own departure, Jesus was really claiming to be a Comforter, whose loss must needs be sorely felt. And such he was. He had been very much in the society of his disciples, was always sympathetic, always wise in counsel, always faithful in admonition, always gracious in encouragement. Nor, indeed, did he cease to be the Paraclete, the Advocate, of his people, when he quitted the world which he visited in order to befriend and save its guilty and helpless inhabitants.
III. THE PROMISE IS SUGGESTIVE OF THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE CHURCH. The Paraclete is One who is called to the side of him who is in need, an Advocate who undertakes the cause Of the defenseless, a Patron exercising a wise protection, a Strengthener or Comforter communicating his power to the feeble. It is implied in the designation that the Holy Spirit is a Person, and that he is Divine. He teaches, guides, assists; he is living, acting, gracious. As he came on the Day of Pentecost - the promise of the Father - so he has ever resided in his Church, to quicken, to purify, to bless.
IV. THE PROMISE IS SUGGESTIVE OF THE PECULIAR ADAPTATION OF THE SPIRIT TO THE WANTS OF THE RANSOMED HUMANITY. Our Lord's mission to earth, and in the body, was a local and temporary mission. In both respects the mission of the Comforter was more suited to the condition of the Church. Whilst the ministry of Jesus was confined to one land, the influences of the Holy Spirit are felt wherever the gospel is preached, wherever Christian society is established. Whilst the ministry of Jesus lasted but for a few years, the abiding mission of the Comforter endures forever. Wherever and whenever human spirits call, in necessity and under the prompting of faith, upon the unseen God for strength and help, the Spirit of might and wisdom and grace, ever near and ever compassionate, comes to their aid, and proves himself their Comforter indeed. - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;