And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;…
I. AS ANSWER TO A REQUEST OF JESUS. The manifestation of the Holy Spirit is a conditional thing. Jesus must ask the Father for it; and he can only ask the Father when he perceives the disciples to be going in the way of his directions. If only the disciples will do what Jesus wants them to do, ha will secure for them the indispensable help. They must not be under the delusion that the might of the Holy Spirit will be given to aid them in their own plans and schemes. They must be servants to the plans and schemes of Jesus. The Father waits for the Son to ask, and the Son waits till he sees his people ready to receive.
II. THE GIFT BESTOWED. Here it is plain we must try to look at things rather than words - at the whole actual work of the Holy Spirit rather than at special words by which he is described. And inasmuch as he is called "another Paraclete," we must consider the incarnate Jesus himself as the first and introductory Paraclete. Well did the disciples know how utterly helpless they would have been without the assistance of Jesus. Truly he was an earthly Providence to them. They never needed to be at a loss. And all the time they were made to feel more and more their natural insufficiency. And doubtless Jesus saw in their hearts the question rising as to what they should do when he was gone. If Jesus had not come into their lives, they would not have known what life can be. But having had a Paraclete, it would be like sinking from light into darkness to go on without one. Better never to have known Jesus at all, than to know him and then lose him, and have to go on with no mere than they had at the beginning. More than that, the gift of the second Comforter includes all that was essential in the first one. Nay, we may say even more. The first Comforter was only truly operative when he blossomed out, so to speak, into the second one. Jesus was the Truth, and the second Comforter was the Spirit of the Truth. Jesus gave the seed, and then the Spirit came like the breath of spring to stir up the seed into life. There is much about all this process that we cannot understand; but that is all the more reason why we should mark what we can mark - even the sequence of processes and results. If the second Comforter had never come, the mission of the first one would have been the greatest enigma in the history of humanity.
III. THE RECIPIENTS OF THE GIFT. It has been well said that Jesus is spoken of as having come into the world. The world could receive him after a fashion, because it could gaze upon him and recognize him by the senses, as it could any incarnated human being. But the Holy Spirit comes to the Church, to prepared and humbled hearts. He comes to complete repentance. Men see that the past has been wrong and foolish, full of wasted days and powers. Then they begin to study the communications of Jesus, and so they are led on into a reception of the Holy Spirit. There must surely be much listening to Jesus, much pondering over all the elements of his incarnate career, before it can be comprehended what the Holy Spirit really is and does. - Y.
Parallel VersesKJV: And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;