John 14: 8-17 (NRSV)
Verse 8Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied." Verse 9Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Verse 10Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Verse 11Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves.
Verse 12Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. Verse 13I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. Verse 14If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.
Verse 15"If you love me, you will keep my commandments. Verse 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. Verse 17This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth.” John 14:16-17
There are various English translations of the original Greek term “paraclete”—“one who stands by another,” “helper.” Hence, translations such as “advocate” or “counselor” seem to hit the mark. In Jesus’ farewell words, he is telling us that there will be another who will take his place. This is Pentecost in the Gospel of John. No wind, no fire, only Jesus!
Perhaps that is as it should be. Just as the three sleepy disciples experienced Jesus on the Mt. of Transfiguration and discovered “only Jesus” after Moses and Elijah departed, so too are we left with “only Jesus” and the Spirit. And of course, “the Father” completes the mystery of the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!
Surely that is more than sufficient for any one of us to comprehend. All we need do is to know that Jesus is asking the Father on our behalf. All we need do is wait and watch!
Mighty Counselor, Holy God, stand by us, help us, advocate for us, for we are helpless without your aid and comfort. Bring us your loving presence, for this is all we need. Amen.