Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 14:16

I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Advocate, or Paraclete;   Comforter;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Advocate;   Church;   Ethics;   Holy spirit;   Resurrection;   Trinity;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Advocate;   Comfort;   Consolation;   Counselor;   Faith;   Feasts and Festivals of Israel;   Follow, Follower;   Holy Spirit;   Sanctification;   Thessalonians, First and Second, Theology of;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Holy Ghost;   CARM Theological Dictionary - Holy spirit, the;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Advocate;   Apostle;   Comforter;   Consolation of Israel;   Perseverance of the Saints;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Advocate;   Baptism;   Holy Spirit, the;   Inspiration;   Winds;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Advocate;   Baptism;   Counselor;   Fatherless;   Helper;   Paraclete;   Security of the Believer;   Trinity;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Advocate;   Children (Sons) of God;   God;   Holy Spirit;   John, Theology of;   Trinity;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Advocate ;   Ascension;   Attributes of Christ;   Brotherhood (2);   Character;   Comfort (2);   Comforter ;   Coming Again;   Commission;   Communion (2);   Death of Christ;   Devotion;   Expediency;   Force;   Gift;   Holy Spirit;   Immanence ;   John Epistles of;   John, Gospel of (Ii. Contents);   Manuscripts;   Mission;   Nunc Dimittis ;   Paraclete;   Paraclete ;   Personality;   Prayer (2);   Presence;   Presence (2);   Promise (2);   Providence;   Sanctify, Sanctification;   Trinity (2);   Truth (2);   Union with God;   Unity (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Advocate, the,;   Holy Ghost, Holy Spirit;   Paraclete;   20 To Ask, Request;   1910 New Catholic Dictionary - paraclete;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Abide;   Fruit;   Holy ghost;   Pentecost;   Samuel;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Comforter;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Advocate;   Comforter;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Advocate;   Comforter;   Inspiration;  
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Jesus of Nazareth;   Twelve Apostles, the;   Kingdom or Church of Christ, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Advocate;   Ascension;   Authority in Religion;   Baptism of the Holy Spirit;   Blasphemy;   Comforter;   Communion;   Intercession of Christ;   Johannine Theology, the;   Lord's Supper (Eucharist);   Paraclete;   Parousia;   Prayer;   Regeneration;   Trinity;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Advocate;   Apostle;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Paraclete;  
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for November 13;   Every Day Light - Devotion for March 9;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

I will pray the Father - After having made an atonement for the sin of the world, I will become the Mediator between God and man; and through my mediation and intercession shall all the blessings of grace and glory be acquired.

Another Comforter - The word παρακλητος signifies not only a comforter, but also an advocate, a defender of a cause, a counsellor, patron, mediator. Christ is thus termed, 1 John 2:1, where the common translation renders the word advocate. Christ is thus called, because he is represented as transacting the concerns of our souls with God; and for this cause, he tells us, he goes unto the Father, John 14:12. The Holy Spirit is thus called, because he transacts the cause of God and Christ with us, explains to us the nature and importance of the great atonement, shows the necessity of it, counsels us to receive it, instructs us how to lay hold on it, vindicates our claim to it, and makes intercessions in us with unutterable groanings. As Christ acted with his disciples while he sojourned with them, so the Holy Ghost acts with those who believe in his name.

For ever - As the death and atonement of Christ will be necessary to man till the conclusion of the world, so the office of the Holy Spirit must be continued among men till the end of time: therefore says Christ, he shall continue with you for ever, teaching, comforting, advising, defending, and interceding for you and for all my followers to the end of time.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 14:16". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

I will pray the Father - This refers to his intercession after his death and ascension to heaven, for this prayer was to be connected with their keeping his commandments. In what way he makes intercession in heaven for his people we do not know. The fact, however, is clearly made known, Romans 8:34; Hebrews 4:14-15; Hebrews 7:25. It is as the result of his intercession in heaven that we obtain all our blessings, and it is through him that our prayers are to be presented and made efficacious before God.

Another Comforter - Jesus had been to them a counsellor, a guide, a friend, while he was with them. He had instructed them, had borne with their prejudices and ignorance, and had administered consolation to them in the times of despondency. But he was about to leave them now to go alone into an unfriendly world. The other Comforter was to be given as a compensation for his absence, or to perform the offices toward them which he would have done if he had remained personally with them. And from this we may learn, in part, what is the office of the Spirit. It is to furnish to all Christians the instruction and consolation which would be given by the personal presence of Jesus, John 16:14. To the apostles it was particularly to inspire them with the knowledge of all truth, John 14:26; John 15:26. Besides this, he came to convince men of sin. See the notes at John 16:8-11. It was proper that such an agent should be sent into the world:

1.Because it was a part of the plan that Jesus should ascend to heaven after his death.

2.Unless some heavenly agent should be sent to carry forward the work of salvation, man would reject it and perish.

3.Jesus could not be personally and bodily present in all places with the vast multitudes who should believe on him. The Holy Spirit is omnipresent, and can reach them all. See the notes at John 16:7.

4.It was manifestly a part of the plan of redemption that each of the persons of the Trinity should perform his appropriate work the Father in sending his Son, the Son in making atonement and interceding, and the Spirit in applying the work to the hearts of men.

The word translated “Comforter” is used in the New Testament five times. In four instances it is applied to the Holy Spirit - John 14:16, John 14:26; John 15:26; John 16:7. In the other instance it is applied to the Lord Jesus - 1 John 2:1; “We have an advocate (Paraclete - Comforter) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” It is used, therefore, only by John. The verb from which it is taken has many significations. Its proper meaning is to call one to us Acts 27:20; then to call one to aid us, as an advocate in a court; then to exhort or entreat, to pray or implore, as an advocate does, and to comfort or console, by suggesting reasons or arguments for consolation. The word “comforter” is frequently used by Greek writers to denote an advocate in a court; one who intercedes; a monitor, a teacher, an assistant, a helper. It is somewhat difficult, therefore, to fix the precise meaning of the word. It may be translated either advocate, monitor, teacher, or helper. What the office of the Holy Spirit in this respect is, is to be learned from what we are elsewhere told he does. We learn particularly from the accounts that our Saviour gives of his work that that office was: comfort the disciples; to be with them in his absence and to supply his place; and this is properly expressed by the word Comforter. teach them, or remind them of truth; and this might be expressed by the word monitor or teacher, John 14:26; John 15:26-27. aid them in their work; to advocate their cause, or to assist them in advocating the cause of religion in the world, and in bringing sinners to repentance; and this may be expressed by the word advocate, John 16:7-13. It was also by the Spirit that they were enabled to stand before kings and magistrates, and boldly to speak in the name of Jesus, Matthew 10:20. These seem to comprise all the meanings of the word in the New Testament, but no single word in our language expresses fully the sense of the original.

That he may abide with you for ever - Not that he should remain with you for a few years, as I have done, and then leave you, but be with you in all places to the close of your life. He shall be your constant guide and attendant.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 14:16". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

John 14:16

I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter

The praying Christ, the giving Father, and the abiding Spirit

The “and” shows us that these words are a consequence of some preceding steps.
The ladder that has its summit in heaven has for its rungs, first, “believe”; second, “love”; third, “obey.” And thus the context carries us from the very basis of the Christian life up into its highest reward. And there is another very striking link. There are, if I may so say, two telephones across the abyss that separates the ascended Christ and us. One is, “If ye ask anything in My name I will do it”; the other, “If ye keep My commandments I will ask.” Love on this side of the great cleft sets love on the other side of it in motion in a two-fold fashion. If we ask, He does; if we do, He asks.


1. “I Will ask and He will give” seems a strange drop from the lofty claims in the earlier verses. The voice that spake the perfect revelation of God lowers its tones into petition. Now apparently diverse views lying so close together cannot have seemed contradictory to the utterer, and there is no explanation which does justice to these two sides of Christ’s consciousness, except that He is God manifest in the flesh, who prays in His Manhood and hears prayer in His Divinity. The bare humanistic view which emphasizes such utterances as these of my text does not know what to do with the other ones.

2. His intercession is the great hope of the Christian heart. The High Priest passes within the veil, bearing in His hand the offering, and by reason of that offering, and of His powerful presence before the mercy seat, all the spiritual gifts which redeem and regenerate and sanctify humanity are forever coming forth. Note


1. “Comforter” means not only One who administers sweet whispers of consolation. We have to look not merely for a vague influence, but a

Divine Person who will be by our side on condition of our faith, love, and obedience, to be our Strength in all weakness, our Peace in all trouble, our Wisdom, Guide, Comforter and Cherisher, Righteousness, the Victor over our temptations, and the Companion and Sweetener of our solitude? The metaphors with which Scripture represents this great personal Influence are full of instruction and beauty. He comes as “The Fire,” which melts, warms, cleanses, quickens; as the “rushing, mighty Wind,” which hears health upon its wings, and sometimes breathes gently as an infant’s breath, and sometimes sweeps with irresistible power; as the “Oil,” gently flowing, lubricating, making every joint supple, nourishing; as the “Water of Life,” refreshing, vitalizing, quickening all growth. He comes fluttering down as the Dove of God, the bird of peace that will brood upon our hearts. He is the Spirit of holiness, truth, wisdom, power, love, a sound mind, sonship, supplication, etc.

2. And this Strengthener and Advocate is to replace Christ and to carry on His work. “Another Comforter.” All that that handful of men found of sweetness and shelter and assured guidance, and stay for their weakness, and companionship for their solitude, and a breast on which to rest their heads, and love in which to bathe their hearts, all these this Divine Spirit will be to each of us if we will.

3. This strong continuation of Christ’s presence will be a permanent companion. He was comforting the disciples who were trembling at the thought of His departure. Here is the abiding Guest, that nothing but your own sin will ever cast out from your hearts.

4. And Christ tells us how this great Spirit will do His work. He is the “Spirit of Truth,” not as if He brought new truth. To suppose that opens the door to all manner of fanaticism, but the truth, the revelation of which is all summed and finished in the person and work of Jesus Christ, is the weapon by which the Divine Spirit works all His conquests, the staff on which He makes us lean and be strong.

III. THE BLIND WORLD. There is a tone of deep sadness in Christ’s words. A savage stares at the sunshine and sees nothing. And worldly men, who are bound by this visible diurnal round, lack the organ that enables them to see that Divine Spirit moving round about them. Whether you have put your eyes out by fleshly lusts, or by intellectual self-sufficiency and conceit, you are stone blind to all the best realities of the universe; and if you look out upon the history of the Church, or upon the present condition of Christendom, and say, “I see no Divine Spirit working there”; well, then, the only thing that is to be said to you is, “Go to an oculist, your sight is bad. Perhaps there is solid land, as some of us see it, where you see only mist.”

IV. THE RECIPIENT DISCIPLES. Observe that the order of clauses is reversed. The world cannot receive, because it does not know. The disciple knows, because He receives. Possession and knowledge reciprocally interchange places, and may be regarded as cause and effect of one another. At bottom they are one and the same thing, Knowledge is possession, and possession is the only knowledge. “He dwelleth with you now, and He shall be in you” hereafter. There is a better form of possession opening before them, which came at Pentecost, and has lasted ever since. (A. Maclaren, D. D.)

The gift of the Spirit and the gift of the Son compared

(text and John 3:16):--It is a much overlooked, but nevertheless true, fact that the Divine love is as much displayed in the gift of the Spirit as in the gift of the Son.

I. THE SPIRIT IS AS INTRINSICALLY GREAT AS THE SON. The same attributes, prerogatives, words belong to both.

II. THE SPIRIT IS AS ACTIVELY ENGAGED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE WORLD AS THE SON. Did He not strive with the old world? Did He not inspire the prophets, etc.? Has there ever been a soul regenerated without His agency? Has there ever been a conscience that He has not touched? In every solemn thought and expression is He not working?

III. THE SPIRIT HAS BEEN AS WICKEDLY TREATED BY THE WORLD AS THE SON. The people of Judaea alone personally ill-treated Christ; the population of the whole world “do always resist the Spirit.” About thirty-three years measured the period of the Saviour’s personal ill-treatment, but that of the Spirit extends over well-nigh twice that number of centuries.

IV. THE SPIRIT IS AS NECESSARY TO MANKIND AS THE SON. Two things are necessary to man’s salvation: deliverance from the guilt, and from the power of sin. Christ was necessary for the first, the Spirit for the second. It is said that man wants nothing but sufficient evidence and the free use of his faculties to believe.

1. But there are circumstances antagonistic to faith which need to be removed. There is

2. All this being true, the Spirit is necessary, in a sense, apart from truth, and apart from His dwelling in the truth. He is a personal power, using the truth and making it effective in the minds and hearts of men. (D. Thomas, D. D.)

The parting promise

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 (John 14:2-3).

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 (John 14:12).

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 (John 14:13).

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.’”


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.)

The Paraclete

The etymological meaning of the word is, “One called to be beside another.” The word is used in classical Greek, and a word of similar etymology, from which our word “advocate” is derived, is used in classical Latin to denote a person who patronises another in a judicial cause, and who appears in support of him. It was the custom, before the ancient tribunals, for the parties to appear in court, attended by one or more of their most powerful and influential friends, who were called “paracletes”--the Greek--or “advocates”--the Latin term. They were not advocates in our sense of the term--feed counsel; they were persons who, prompted by affection, were disposed to stand by their friend; and persons in whose knowledge, wisdom, and truth the individual having the cause had confidence. These paracletes, or advocates, gave their friends--“prospelates,” or “clients,” as they were called--the advantages of their character and station in society, and the aid of their counsel. They stood by them in the court, giving them advice, and speaking in their behalf when it was necessary. Jesus had been the Paraclete of His disciples while He was with them. He had made their cause His own. He had taught them how to manage their cause with God. He had taught them to pray; and He had prayed for them. He had taught them how to manage their cause with the wicked one; bidding them watch and pray, lest they should enter into temptation; and He had prayed for them, that their faith should not fail. When the scribes and Pharisees attacked them, He was ever ready to defend them. In the great cause which was at once His and theirs He was their great helper. He instructed them what to say, and how to act. He gave them miraculous powers, and taught them how to use them. Thus He had been their patron--their paraclete. And He was not to cease to be so; He was, in His Father’s house of many mansions, “ever living to interpose in their behalf” (1 John 2:1; Hebrews 7:25). But He was to cease to be their Paraclete on earth; and therefore, knowing how much they needed such a patron and adviser, and monitor and helper, He says, “I will pray to the Father, and He will send you another Paraclete.” “Instead of losing, you are to gain by My removal.” They had, in becoming His disciples, identified themselves with His cause. They stood pledged to establish the right which their Master’s principles had to be universally embraced and submitted to. And all the resources of Judaism and Paganism, all the subtlety of philosophy, all the seductions of idolatry, all the power of kingdoms and empires, all the craft, and activity, and energy of hell, were against them. And what were they? poor, unlearned, obscure men? Truly, they needed a powerful patron, a wise adviser. And such a paraclete was He whom the Saviour promises. He cannot want power, through whose plastic influence the world was formed; He cannot want wisdom, who “searches all things, even the deep things of God”; and we know how He guided them, and enabled them to bring to a triumphant issue their mighty litigation. He filled their minds with the pure light of Divine truth, and their hearts with the holy fire of Divine love, and He poured grace and power into their lips; and when brought before counsels and synagogues, and governors, and kings, He gave them a force of reason and a power of eloquence that could not be withstood. “They spake with tongues, as He gave them utterance,” and proclaimed the mysteries of the kingdom, “not in words taught by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Holy Ghost.” (J. Brown, D. D.)

The Paraclete

It means one who calls us to his side, as a father does his child when he has some special thing to say. (H. Bonar, D. D.)

The Paraclete


1. The Holy Spirit is to be to us all that Jesus was to His disciples. What a valiant leader is to an army, the shepherd to the sheep, Jesus Christ was to His people. As the Orientals say of the palm tree, that every fragment of it is of use, and there is scarcely any domestic arrangement into which the palm tree in some form or other does not enter, even so Jesus Christ is good for everything to His people, and there is nothing that they have to do or feel or know but Jesus Christ enters into it. What would that little company have been without their Lord? Now, all that Jesus was, the Spirit of God is now. If there be any power in the Church, any light in her instruction, life in her ministry, glory gotten to God, good wrought among men, it is entirely because the Holy Spirit is still with her. And we shall do well to treat the Holy Spirit as we would have treated Christ. Our Lord’s disciples told Him their troubles; we must trust the Comforter with ours. Whenever they felt baffled by the adversary, they fell back upon their Leader’s power; so must we call in the aid of the Holy Spirit. When they needed guidance, they sought direction from Jesus; we also must seek and abide by the Spirit’s leadings. When, knowing what to do, they felt themselves weak, they waited upon their Master for strength; and so must we upon the Spirit of all grace.

2. The Holy Spirit comforts by His presence and indwelling (John 14:17).

3. He comforts us by His teaching (John 14:26). We can, so far as the letter goes, learn from the Scriptures the words of Jesus for ourselves; but to understand them is the gift of the Spirit of God. What comfort is there equal to the words of Jesus, “the consolation of Israel,” when they are really understood?

4. Through the Holy Spirit we obtain peace (John 14:27). He who is taught of God naturally enjoys peace, for if I be taught that my sins were laid on Jesus, and the chastisement of my peace was upon Him, how can I help having peace?

5. The Holy Spirit, according to John 16:13, guides us into all truth, which is more than teaching us all truth. There are caverns full of sparkling stalactites. Now, it is a good thing, when you are travelling, to be taught where each of these caverns is--that is teaching you truth; but it is a better thing when the guide, with his flaming torch, conducts you down into the great subterranean chambers, while ten thousand crystals, like stars, vicing in colour with the rainbow, flash their beams upon you. So the Spirit of God will convince you that such and such a teaching is truth, and that is very much to know; but when he leads you into it, so that you experimentally know it, taste it, and feel it, oh, then you are admitted to the innermost cave of jewels, where “the diamond lights up the secret mine.” A great many Christians never get into the truth. They sit on the outside of it, but do not enter in.

6. The Spirit (John 16:14) glorifies Christ by “taking of the things of Christ and showing them to us.” Could infinite wisdom select a sweeter topic for a disconsolate heart than “the things of Christ”? You may bring me the things of Moses and of David, of Solomon and of Daniel, but what are they to me compared with the things of Christ?


1. He never dissociates His comfort from character (see verse 15). The Spirit of God never comforts a man in his sin. See what sin it is that makes you sorrow--obey, and ye shall be comforted.

2. He does not aim at working mere comfort by itself and alone. He does not comfort us as a fond mother who does not teach the child anything, nor cleanse its body or purify its heart in order to comfort it, but who neglects these to please the little one; but the Holy Spirit never acts so unwisely.

When a man is feeling pain he is very desirous that the surgeon should administer some drug which will stop the unpleasant sensation immediately; yet the surgeon refuses to do anything of the kind, but endeavours to remove the cause of the evil, which lies far lower than the pain. Do not expect to get comfort by merely running to sweet texts or listening to pleasing preachers, but expect to find comfort through the holy, reproving, humbling, strengthening, sanctifying processes which are the operation of the Divine Paraclete.

3. His comfort is not founded upon concealment. Some have obtained consolation by conveniently forgetting troublesome truth. Now, the Holy Spirit lays the whole truth open before us; therefore our consolation is not of fools, but of wise men; peace, which age and experience will not invalidate, but which both these will deepen, causing it to grow with our growth and strengthen with our strength.

4. It is a comfort always in connection with Jesus.

5. It is comfort which is always available. It does not depend upon health, strength, wealth, position, or friendship; the Holy Spirit comforts us through the truth, and the truth does not change; through Jesus, and He is “yea and amen”; therefore our comforts may be quite as lively when we are dying as when we are in vigorous health, when the purse is empty, and the cruse of oil low, as when all worldly store and cheer abound to us.


1. To the believer

2. Never impute the vain imaginings of your fancy to Him.

3. In all your learning ask Him to teach you, in all your suffering ask Him to sustain you, in all your teaching ask Him to give you the right words, in all your witness-bearing ask Him to give you constant wisdom, and in all service depend upon Him for His help. Believingly reckon upon the Holy Spirit.

4. To the unconverted--if thou art ever to be saved, the Holy Spirit is essential to thee. Except thou be born again from above, thou canst never see the kingdom of God, much less enter it. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

Another Comforter


1. So our high festival of the Holy Ghost comes round, and meets the wants which the year has been accumulating. Just as Good Friday came and met another year’s guilt, Whit-Sunday comes to meet another year’s grief. Some have wept alone, and have had no earthly solace. Some have had comforters; but their well-intentioned comfortings mocked you. Or, the human comforting was very precious and very true, and you know what that word “comforter” means; but here is that which exceeds it all, as the fountain exceeds one of its own smallest drops--“a Comforter.”

2. Christ said, “Another Comforter.” Who is it? The Father? Yes; for He is “the God of all comfort.” The Son? Yes; “I will not leave you comfortless.” Then, a Trinity of Comforters. Is that the way we travel to “God is love”? Through a Comforter I ask a Comforter to send a Comforter. Or more truly, two Comforters, of themselves, send a Comforter. You are a deep mourner. But see how you are encircled. And can any sorrow outreach that comforting?


1. It is the comforting of a Spirit. Therefore He mingles with our spirit. He does not need that there should pass any actual words. Every one who has ever passed through very deep sorrow will appreciate this. There are times when all language is poor and rude. How often have we longed that our minds could throw themselves into another’s mind without speaking. The Holy Ghost does that.

2. And what power there is in that thought, that He is the Holy Ghost! It wants holiness to deal with a wounded mind. Nothing but what is very holy ought ever to come near sorrow.

3. Still, the Spirit uses instruments, and almost always the Word. It is not always a promise. Sometimes it is a doctrine, whose grandeur fills, and raises, and assures the Spirit. Sometimes it is a command, and the comfort is the sense of duty. The Comforter never forgets that He is the Sanctifier, and the Sanctifier never forgets that He is the Comforter. Therefore, if you would be comforted, obey the impulse of the Spirit, and go and be much with your Bible, and be jealous that the first thing you seek is holiness.

4. He does not make you forget, but He draws happiness out of the unhappiness; He makes the subject of your tears the element of your smile; He does not take away the cloud, but He makes a rainbow of the shower; the pain does not go, but gradually the pain has so much of Christ in it that you scarcely wish to part with it.

5. He always displays Christ--makes you find what you want, not in man, but in Christ. If the thought which is presented to your mind does not draw you nearer to Christ--if you are not led to do something for Christ’s sake--it is not the true Comforter who has been speaking to you. Jesus is thebalm of life, and the comfort of the Spirit is the revealing of Christ. (J. Vaughan, M. A.)

Another Comforter

The Divine Spirit is

I. A HOLY COMFORTER. There can be no comfort apart from goodness. “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” His name indicates His work. By Him the soul is regenerated. Christians are “elect through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience.”

II. AN INSTRUCTIVE COMFORTER. By His inspiration all Holy Scripture was given for our learning. Not by methods opposed to or ignoring our intellectual nature; not by mere excitement of the emotions; but by conveying truth to the mind, and enabling us to understand and feel it, the Holy Spirit acts as “another Comforter.” By His help we believe, and then, “being justified by faith, we have peace with God,” and enjoy that “peace which passeth all understanding.”

III. A PERSUASIVE COMFORTER. By revealing Jesus to the soul the Holy Spirit produces that love which is the strongest motive to holiness, and which is the fulfilling of the law. “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” And “the love of Christ constraineth us to live not to ourselves, but to Him who died for us and rose again.” The Comforter, as a faithful guide, in places of difficulty takes the traveller by the hand, and in addition to words of counsel, restrains him when he would step into danger, and kindly compels him to proceed when through fear or thoughtlessness he hesitates and may be overtaken by storm or darkness.

IV. A STRENGTHENING COMFORTER. He “helpeth our infirmities.” He comes to our succour when we are too heavily burdened, and lightens the weight or gives us strength to bear it. We are “strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man.” The result of such strengthening is Christ “dwelling in our hearts by faith,” the being “rooted and grounded in love,” “knowing the love of Christ which passeth knowledge,” and being “filled with all the fulness of God.” And what consolation can surpass that which must result from such strengthening! Especially are we taught to expect this help in prayer (Romans 8:26). He helps us to obtain comfort by teaching us what to pray for, by enabling us to pray aright, by overcoming the doubts which hinder us in the exercise, by creating within us earnest longings after God, by exciting in us desires which we may be unable to express in words, but which bring down the refreshing showers upon the mown grass, and cause us to say, “I love the Lord, because He hath heard my voice and my supplication,”

V. AN ASSURING COMFORTER. What consolation can be greater than to know that Jesus is our Saviour and that we are His friends, and that through Him we can look upward and with confidence say, “My God! my Father!” (Romans 8:14-16).

VI. A HOPE-INSPIRING COMFORTER. We “abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost” (Romans 8:17-19). Practical lessons:

1. Let us regard the Holy Spirit, not with dread, but with loving confidence.

2. Let our actions respond to His methods of help. Does He comfort by teaching? let us be diligent learners; by persuasion? let us yield to His influence; by guiding? let us follow; by promoting our holiness? let us strive against sin; by helping us to know our high vocation? let us “give diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end.”

3. Let all be encouraged to seek His help, for “If ye, being evil,” etc. (Newman Hall, LL. B.)

Another Comforter


1. Spiritual (John 14:17).

2. Personal. Not a mere influence or energy, as according to the Monarchians, Patripassians, Unitarians, but a Person as truly as Christ was. That Christ taught this is apparent from

3. Divine. Christ could not be represented by or commit the interests of His Church to a creature.

4. Distinct, as against Sabellians and Swedenborgians. “Another.”


1. To the Father.

2. To the Son.

3. To the Truth. Spirit of Truth may signify the Spirit whose essence is the Truth, whose operations concern the Truth, whose office it is to testify of Him who is the Truth (John 15:26), and to guide into all the Truth John 16:13).

4. To the disciples. A presence

5. To the world (John 16:17; John 16:8).


1. Loving obedience to Christ (John 16:15).

2. Believing recognition of the Spirit (John 16:17). The world had closed its eyes and steeled its heart against Him.


1. That all a saint obtains on earth he owes to the Saviour’s intercession Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25).

2. That the highest gift a human spirit can receive is the Holy Ghost as a Divine Being, an all-sufficient Helper, a heavenly Teacher, an unchanging Friend.

3. That the world’s unbelief of the Spirit is no proof that He does not exist. (T. Whitelaw, D. D.)

Another Comforter


1. In the needs He came to meet. To have had no mission for the sorrowful would have been to neglect the most evident of the world’s wants.

2. In the predictions concerning Him--“He hath sent Me to heal the broken-hearted,” etc.

3. In the nature of His words and works. To alleviate pain, to console bereavement, to meet doubt, to lighten death, He set Himself with all the absorbing interest of a master passion.

II. THE WORK OF THE SPIRIT RESEMBLES THAT OF CHRIST. The life of Jesus is an index of the work of “the Comforter.”

1. What we read of Jesus doing as a consoler, we read also of the Holy Spirit doing.

2. What men saw Jesus doing in Judaea, we may see and feel is being done by the Spirit now. As Christ led, inspired, soothed, and elevated human hearts, so the Spirit will ever do.


1. In its permanence. Jesus Christ “went away.” His stay was only for “a little while.” But the Spirit abides “forever.”

2. In its universality. Jesus was only known to the comparative few who were around Him. But on every shore, and under every sky, the Spirit dwells with men.

3. In its nearness. Those who came nearest to Christ but kissed His feet or lay in His bosom. This is distant in comparison with the Spirit’s indwelling. (V. R. Thomas.)

The Comforter

I. OUR NEED OF A COMFORTER. We live in a world of sorrow and suffering.

II. IS THERE A REMEDY? God is love; and it is impossible that He should intend His creatures to sink under such a burden.

1. Shall we seek for it in the influences of nature?

2. Shall we seek for it in our fellow men? Many seem to think so.

3. It may be said, indeed, that there is no need, even if we feel that all these earthly stays and solaces are insufficient, to think of the Holy Spirit as the Comforter. We have “consolation in Christ,” and we need no other. We need a present Comforter to make them efficacious.

III. HOW, THEN, DOES THE HOLY GHOST COMFORT US? When we first approach the consideration of the work of the Comforter, we meet with certain views of that work which seem to be the reverse of comforting. How can He who convinces us of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment, be a Comforter to us who are sinners? The friend who is found to be the truest and most trustworthy comforter is not he who whispers merely pleasant things in our ears; but he who tells us the truth, who, by telling us the truth, prepares us to understand what is wrong with us and to seek for a remedy. And how does He administer to the necessities which He thus makes apparent?

1. By revealing the fulness and sufficiency of Christ for all our spiritual wants. We say the work of comfort must begin here; for it is plain that, unless there be a supply for those deepest wants of our nature, we can have no real comfort or happiness. How, for instance, can a man be happy, or what kind of comfort can he enjoy, while he is laden with the burden of unforgiven sin?

2. By giving grace and strength in temptation.

3. And as it is in our spiritual trials, so also He comforts us in the ordinary troubles of life. (W. R. Clark.)

Another Comforter

Christ Himself was a Comforter, a true Barnabas, a brother born for adversity. His disciples found Him such.

I. The Spirit is an INDWELLING Comforter. “Dwelleth with … shall be in you.” Most of our comforts are external, outside of us. Our souls are empty, weak, unsatisfied; and we need to look outward for strength and consolation. Even Christ’s bodily presence was without, and sometimes He and His disciples were separated from each other. But the Holy Ghost is in you; He goes where you go; He dwells with you; He makes your bodies temples of the Holy Ghost; He makes your souls wells of living water; He is the glory in the midst, in the heart, of each of you.

II. The Spirit is an ABIDING Comforter (John 14:16). Change is written upon all things here. Health and strength fail, friends die, riches fly away. Even Christ, as to His bodily presence, was only a sojourner on earth. But the Spirit abides; He will never leave the soul of which He has taken saving possession.

III. The Spirit is an UNWORLDLY Comforter (John 14:17). He is spirit, and so the world cannot see Him, cannot handle Him. Even if He could become visible and tangible, the world would neither know Him nor receive Him. The world can have no sympathy with Him, for He does not speak of earthly things; it is not with them that He seeks to comfort sorrowful, longing souls. If He spoke of earthly things, He could not be a Comforter to God’s poor, humbled, broken, wearied ones. The true believer has left all for Christ, has sold all to get the treasure, and now nothing but Christ can satisfy him. And so the Holy Ghost, when He wishes to comfort, speaks of Christ (chap. 15:26; 16:14).

IV. The Spirit is an EFFECTUAL Teacher (John 14:26). Christ was a Teacher; He was always at work, in public and private. (John Milne.)

The Comforter

I. THE OFFICE OF THE SPIRIT. This term signifies to call to one’s self. A person is in distress on account of ignorance, and he calls to him a learned person; a person ignorant in the law, who wants to appear in a court of justice, calls a person learned in the law; a person who is in distress on account of any disease calls a physician.. So the Holy Spirit. In the season of distress He comes to us at our call. The Holy Spirit performs this office

1. By the attestation of pardon.

2. By the production of a new and holy nature.

3. By maturing the Christian character.

4. By the assistance He affords in devotional exercises.

5. By fortifying the mind against the fear of death.

II. THE PERIOD OF HIS CONTINUANCE. His continued residence

1. Constitutes the great distinction and difference between the

Church and the world (John 14:17).

2. Gives efficiency and success to the means of grace.

3. Is an assurance of the ultimate triumph of the Church.

III. THE MODE OF HIS ATTAINING THIS OFFICE. We are indebted to Jesus Christ for the gift of the Holy Ghost, because

1. It is the reward of His sufferings.

2. The reward of His intercession, Therefore

3. We have a pledge and an assurance that Christ will pray the

Father. (T. Lessey.)

Comfort by the support of the indwelling Spirit

If you thoroughly exhaust a vessel of the air it contains, the pressure of the air outside will break that vessel into perhaps millions of pieces, because there is not a sufficiency of air within to resist and counteract the weight of the atmosphere from without. A person who is exercised by severe affliction, and who does not experience the Divine comforts and supports in his soul, resembles the exhausted receiver above described; and it is no wonder if he yields, and is broken to shivers, under the weight of God’s providential hand. But affliction to one who is sustained by the inward presence of the Holy Ghost resembles the aerial pressure on the outer surface of an unexhausted vessel. There is that within which supports it and preserves it from being destroyed by the incumbent pressure from without. (T. H.Leary, D. C. L.)

The two paracletes

Their mutual and distinctive relation to the work of redemption, to the life of believers, and to the service of the Church.

I. WHAT DOES THE WORD “PARACLETE” MEAN? Nearly all the ancient interpreters render it comforter or consoler. This accords with one use of it and its related words in both the Old Testament and the New. It does not cover the whole ground, since the Holy Ghost not only comforts, but does a great deal more than that. In some cases the word is equivalent to master, teacher, interpreter. In other cases it means a pleader or advocate--one engaged to take up a cause and to carry it through. Hence the word comes to mean--one by whose grace and love the entire case and cause of men are undertaken: who will soothe, comfort, advocate, plead, teach, interpret--yea, who will stand by us and render any needed aid whatever! For thisreason the word “advocate” is, like the word “comforter,” too restricted. We want a word of wider significance than either. The word helper is the best that we can find.

1. A helper--a large and beautiful word, which, in the fulness of its meaning as here used, nought but the experience of God’s love can unfold to us.

2. A Divine Helper. And we have two Divine Helpers, both working together to make the help complete. But who are they who have causes in hand that need such help? Manifold and complex is our need. We want help in every form. As sinners, we want such help as One can give who has a right to say, “Thy sins are forgiven thee.” As penitents, we want One who can grant us access to the Father. As learners, we want One who can take of the things of God and show them to us. As suppliants, we want One who can receive and answer our requests. As believers, we want One who can lead, sustain, and inspire. As confessors of Christ and ambassadors for Him, we need One who can convict men of sin, and who can speed our words directly to their hearts. Strong, constant, varied help do we want.


1. One Helper is in heaven, is a link joining on heaven to earth; the other Helper is on earth, as a link uniting earth to heaven. Hence one Helper remains for us above; the other remains in us below.

2. The help of the Son is by the appointment of the Father; the help of the Spirit is through the ministration of the Son.

3. By the help of the one Helper we have a great sacrifice for sin; by the work of the other Helper men are convicted of sin.

4. Hence another and not less striking correspondence appears. The Lord Jesus Christ presents Himself to us as the object of faith; the Holy Ghost, working within us, enters into the region of an inward experience, and enables us by the power of a spiritual intuition to verify what we believe.

5. Further: In every detail of Christian truth and life these two Divine Helpers supplement and complete each other’s work. Christ reveals the Father to us; the Holy Ghost creates the spirit of adoption in us, so that we cry, Abba, Father. Christ gives us, when we believe, the right of being sons of God; the Spirit bears witness with our spirit that such we are. Christ is in Himself the truth; the Holy Ghost gives us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. Christ is the object in whom we rejoice, but the joy itself is imparted by the Holy Ghost.

6. One Helper intercedes with the Father; the other Helper intercedes in the children. In one case the scriptural expressions are, “We have an Advocate with the Father”; “He ever liveth to make intercession for us.” In the other case, “The Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

7. But we must not omit to give distinctness to the thought of the advocacy of our two Helpers. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Advocate, Pleader, and Defender of our cause above; the Holy Ghost is the Advocate, Pleader, and Defender of our cause below. Christ above, that sin may not bar us from the throne; the Spirit below, that the world may not put us to shame.

8. One Helper is graciously preparing a place for us; the other Helper is engaged in preparing us for the place.

III. In view of the combined work of these two Divine Helpers, we can see THE COMPLETENESS OF REDEMPTION’S PLAN. Had our Redeemer wrought alone, His work had been unappreciated by man; but let another Helper come, creating men anew, convicting, regenerating, enlightening, educating, and training, then we see the Divine completeness of the Redeemer’s mighty work, and learn how surely the Redeemer will see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied. On recognizing and laying hold of both these Helpers will depend our completeness as Christians. Our own piety and power in Christ are a prime condition of power for Christ. The degree to which the Spirit of God works by us surely depends on the measure in which He works in us. So also the efficiency of Church life depends on realizing and utilizing this double help. Not merely has soundness in faith to be guarded, but vigour of life has to be carefully watched. On this double help depends the efficiency of private members. It is also, and only, in the full use of this double help that the Christian ambassador is completely equipped. While we hold up Christ as the Light of the world, let us also equally extol the Holy Ghost as the Power of the Church. (C. Clemance, D. D.)

Even the Spirit of Truth

The Spirit of truth

I. THE NEED OF THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH. It was by a lie that evil gained entrance into the world. Satan is both a liar and a murderer … Evil first introduced by means of a lie has been continually promulgated through the same instrumentality. Alas! the dominion of falsehood has been almost universally established!--false notions of God, of ourselves, of happiness; false estimates of good and evil; false dealings in the intercourse of life. Who is not conscious of these and other forms of it. It is amongst the most melancholy proofs of our fallen estate, that often, with children, the earliest exercise of the gift of speech is an endeavour at deceiving their parents. And as we grow up, it cannot be denied, that a rigid and unvarying adherence to truth is the most difficult of our duties. Hence the suspicion and mistrust between man and man. We admit, indeed, that a liar is held in general abhorrence. Men have naturally an admiration of courage in whatever way displayed; and therefore they despise a liar as they do the poltroon. And over and above the cowardice which is manifested by a lie, there is the injury which is done to society. Therefore, it may be little more than a consciousness that its own permanence is identified with adherence to truth, which induces society to be so vehement in its rebuke of a lie. But even if the contempt in which a liar is held might be referred to the very highest principles, whatever indignation at falsehood is excited, it exists in a degree which proves this indignation but little efficacious in destroying its empire. There is not the land where false principles are not wielding an influence which should belong only to true. There is not a family within whose circle there is no admiration for false theories in regard of duty and interest. There is not a heart so thoroughly hallowed into a sanctuary for truth that it is always closed against the intrusion of false opinions and false expectations. The whole creation groaneth for the establishment of truth.


1. It is curious and interesting to observe how truth of every kind has advanced hand in hand with religion. Not, indeed, that it was the office of the Holy Ghost to instruct the world in natural philosophy. He came to unfold redemption, and so to strengthen the human understanding, that it might be able to bear the vast truths of the Mediatorial work. But, nevertheless, it did come to pass--that the understanding, so strengthened, found itself strengthened also to investigate creation. The Christian era has been distinguished by a rapid advance made in every branch of science; by the emancipation of mind from a thousand trammels; by the discovery of truths which seemed to lie beyond the scope of human intelligence. In the dark ages when Christianity was almost buried beneath superstition, ignorance of every kind oppressed the earth; but when better days dawned; science revived and the arts again flourished. And besides this, there is the same strict alliance between all kinds of truth as between all kinds of falsehood. And it ought not therefore to excite surprise that science and Christianity should have marched side by side. The “rushing mighty wind,” which swept superstition before it, swept also much of the cloud which had rested on natural things. In clearing the moral firmament, that the “Sun of Righteousness” might be discovered, it took the mist from the material heavens.

2. But, at the same time, the great business on which the Holy Ghost came was the instructing the world in the mysteries of redemption

The Spirit of Truth

The Holy Ghost is the living, personal, Divine unity of complete revelation, and, as such, the Spirit of Truth. He is the Spirit of Truth inasmuch as He makes objective truth subjective in believers, in order to a knowledge of the truth. (J. P. Lange, D. D.)

The function of the Spirit of Truth in relation to revealed truth

When a telescope is directed to some distant landscape, it enables us to see what we could not otherwise have seen; but it does not enable us to see anything which has not a real existence in the prospect before us. The natural eye saw nothing but blue land stretching along the distant horizon. By the aid of the glass, there bursts upon it a charming variety of fields, and woods, and spires, and villages. And so of the Spirit. He does not add a single truth or character to the book of Revelation. He enables the spiritual man to see what the natural man cannot see; but the spectacle which he lays open is uniform and immutable. It is the Word of God which is ever the same; and he whom the Spirit of Truth has enabled to look to the Bible with a clear and affecting discernment, sees no phantom passing before him; but amid all the visionary extravagance with which he is charged, can for every article of his faith, and every duty of his practice, makes his triumphal appeal to the law and to the testimony. (T. Chalmers, D. D.)

Willingness to know the truth a condition of the reception of the truth

A celebrated French beauty was smitten with smallpox, and as she became convalescent, her friends, fearing the consequences, would not tell her of her disfigurement. But one day, not getting an answer to her questions, she called for a mirror, and when she saw the calamitous fact that her beauty was gone, in a fit of passion, smashed the glass. It had told her the truth about herself. So the Spirit of Truth tells us about ourselves; and some people, rather than believe His witness, deny His existence. Whom the world cannot receive.

The world--that is, worldly men, minds full of worldliness--cannot receive, cannot see or know the Spirit, because He is wholly heavenly. As a mirror which is unclean cannot reflect clearly the image which is before it, so the heart that is impure, and which clings to the things of earth, cannot see with the eye of faith the Spirit of Truth, and so cannot receive Him. Worldliness receives Him not

But ye know Him

The saint and the Spirit

The Holy Spirit, although the most active, potent, and real worker in the world, is not discerned by the mass of mankind, who are affected only by what they see, or hear, or feel. The vital distinction between the man of God and the man of the world is this: the man of God knows the Holy Spirit, for He is with him and dwelleth in him; but the man of the world knows not the Holy Ghost.


1. We have seen the operations of the Holy Spirit in the Church at large

2. The works of the Holy Spirit within a regenerate man find an illustration in the work of the Holy Spirit upon the person of our Lord, our Covenant Head and Representative.

3. If we know the Spirit of God at all, we shall know Him as having convinced us of sin. No one ever came to Christ until he felt his need of Him.

4. If you know the Holy Spirit, you will also know Him as the great revealer of Christ.

5. Since that, have we not often known the Spirit as our helper in prayer?

6. Then, when we rose from our knees, we opened the Scriptures, the Spirit of Truth acted as interpreter. He wrote the book, and therefore He understands it meaning.

7. You know not the Spirit unless you have often recognized Him as the great calmer and quieter of His people’s minds when under distractions.

8. More especially is the Spirit known to believers as their sanctifier.

II. THEY KNOW HIM BY HIS PERSONAL INDWELLING IN THEIR SOULS. The Holy Spirit gives us His operations and His influences for which we should be very grateful, but the greatest gift is Himself, which “dwelleth with you and shall be in you.” This is

1. Wondrously condescending;

2. Singularly effective. There is no way of doing work well, except doing it yourself; and when the Master comes and gives personal attendance, it is sure to be done.

3. Delightfully encouraging, “If God actually dwells in me, then what may I not expect?”

4. Potently sanctifying. If God dwell in us, let us not defile these bodies. When Ignatius stood before the judges, they said, “You are called the God bearer, Theophorus; what mean you by this? He said, “God dwells in me.” When the persecutor looked at him and said he blasphemed, he replied that the Holy Spirit dwelt in him. Ah! but Ignatius proved it. If you and I dare to say God dwells in us, we must prove it too; perhaps not by a cruel death, but by what is far more difficult--a holy life.

III. WE SHALL KNOW HIM BETTER SOON. We shall be more instructed; and the instructed disciple knows the Master better than he who is in the A B C class. We shall be more fully sanctified, and the more pure we become, the more clearly shall we see the great Purifier. I do not know what we may be even here. We become warped and crippled by our small conceptions of the possible in grace. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you

The office of the Spirit

I. THE ASSURANCE OF A NEARER RELATION TO THE DIVINE BEING CONVEYED BY THIS PROMISE. The indwelling of the Spirit is declared to be a mere metaphor, as when we say of a philosopher, there is in him the soul of science; or of a poet, that he has the spirit of song. The disciples at this time needed comfort, they were about to lose the support of their Master’s personal presence. What mockery to have been told that they should be so inspirited with truth as to compensate them abundantly for all their loss. A literal indwelling, then, being contended for, notice some of the included blessings.

1. It is a standing pledge of the Divine presence and protection. The Divine Spirit dwelling in us is God Himself coming back to that temple. He had dwelt in it once before; but this once living temple lost its purity, and in that same hour lost the presence of God. The rebuilding of this temple, the preparatory step for bringing back God to His forsaken sanctuary, was the awful mystery of the Incarnation. By this one act the human nature became an honoured and noble thing. Through the power of the Spirit it had enshrined Godhead. The indwelling of the Spirit is an abiding pledge of restored and continuing confidence between God and man.

2. It is the vital principle of union betwixt Christ and His people. Our being made one in Christ is one of the great junction facts of the Gospel system. It connects the sinner with his hope, the elect with the covenant, and both originates and effects that vital relation to God which brings the faithful within the reach of the mediatorial designs and purposes. The Spirit initiates that union, for “by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body.” He assures us of the union remaining unbroken, “Thereby we know that Christ abideth in us by the Spirit which He hath given us” (Romans 8:11). “He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.”


1. It assures to us a constant supply of enlightening and directing influences. “He will guide you into all truth.” He enlarges the range of our spiritual knowledge, and reveals, as if by a new spiritual sense, the great mystery of godliness.

2. It influences the moral affections also. This imparted life makes the heart to burn, while it opens the understanding.

3. It gives to all our services a filial and loving character--“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage,” etc. There is a service which is not happy. It may be sincere, and earnest, and costly, and self-denying; but it is the service not of a son, but of a bondsman. The Spirit in us changes constraint into cheerfulness and duty into happiness, and the restless activities of a self-devised worship into a calm repose and a commanded and accepted sacrifice. (D. Moore, M. A.)

The Spirit with you and in you

I. A MAN MAY HAVE THE DIVINE SPIRIT WITH HIM, BUT NOT IN HIM. The Divine Spirit was with the disciples in the person of Christ. Every man has the Spirit with him.

1. In the operations of nature.

2. In the revelations of the Bible.

3. In the events of history.

4. In the lives of all good men.


1. Guide;

2. Protect;

3. Strengthen;

4. Perfect us.

III. IT IS A GREATER PRIVILEGE FOR A MAN TO HAVE THE DIVINE SPIRIT IN HIM. Christ had unfolded to His disciples an infinite system of truth, but it lay cold and dead in their memories. He deposited precious seed in the soil; but the soil lacked the warmth and sunshine that the Spirit of God alone could give. Compare the difference between the disciples before and after Pentecost. When the Spirit of God is in you you have spiritual

1. Life.

2. Satisfaction.

3. Power. (D. Thomas, D. D.)

The indwelling of the Spirit

God is said to dwell in heaven; among the children of men; in Zion; among His people; in believers. The Spirit is said to dwell in His Church which is thus a temple of God, and in believers individually, who are severally His temple. It follows, then, that where the Spirit dwells His presence is indicated by certain specific effects.

I. KNOWLEDGE. This is one of the chief ends for which He was promised. This knowledge includes correct intellectual convictions and spiritual discernment. To this are due orthodoxy, love of truth and adherence to it under all circumstances. To this source, also, we are indebted for the unity as well as the preservation of the faith. This is a ground of conviction beyond the reach of scepticism, and unassailable by infidelity.

II. HOLINESS in all its forms.

1. Faith, confidence in God, in His word, promises, favours, etc.

2. Love

3. Temperance.

4. Meekness.

5. Long suffering.

III. HOPE, JOY, AND PEACE. The consolations of the Spirit which sustain the soul under all sorrow; whether from conviction of sin or from affliction.

IV. ACTIVITY IN RESISTING SIN AND IN DOING GOOD. He is the source not only of inward spiritual life, but of outward acts of devotion and obedience to God.


1. By the Word.

2. By inward operation on the mind, guiding its thoughts, shaping its conclusions and exciting right feelings; not by impulse or any magic methods.

Duties flowing from this doctrine

1. To cherish the conviction that we in a special sense belong to


2. To reverence and obey the admonitions of the indwelling Spirit.

3. To preserve our soul and body pure as the temple of the Holy Ghost.

4. A grateful sense of this unspeakable blessing and dignity. (C. Hodge, D. D.)

God in us


1. For many generations the revelation of the everlasting Father covered the canvas, and that form of awful majesty was shrouded everywhere in clouds and darkness. The utterance was, “I am the Almighty God; walk before Me, and be thou perfect.”

2. To this succeeded the revelation of the co-eternal Son. At first, wrapped, up in the types and figures of the old law: then struggling like the sun through the mists of the morning, as by the chant of Psalms, and the voice of prophecy, the ever-brightening form was declared to the waiting soul of humanity; until the fulness of the time was come, and the eternal Son stood incarnate upon the earth. Humanity had now reached altogether a new stags; God was manifest in the flesh; yet still God was external to man. The brightness of the uncreated glory shone before his eyes, but his eyes were not quickened to receive it.

3. One mighty further step was yet to be reached, and it is with the promise of this that the Lord here upholds their hearts. The Paraclete “shall be in you.” The external revelation was to be replaced by the internal. Accordingly, when the coming of the Holy Ghost was perfectly accomplished, all additions to the external revelation ceased. Miracles were but visible attestations of the outward kingdom passing into the inward, and one by one they expired as the inward kingdom was established. Even the external revelation of the heavenly mysteries soon ceased. The canon was closed.

II. FROM THIS FOLLOWS THE PECULIAR CHARACTER OF OUR PROBATION. For though the Spirit of God works as a most free agent, quickening whom He will; yet does He work on humanity according to the law under which God has created it; not destroying its free agency, but, in the mystery of man’s freedom, working with his spirit, and not by external force, overpowering its proper action. The energy of the Spirit’s working is enlarged or restrained as man yields himself to it, or resists it. In the first preaching of the gospel this great distinction of the new dispensation was emphatically declared. “Repent, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, ‘that the times of refreshing may come, from the presence of the Lord, and He shall send Jesus.’” This is

1. A promise to the whole Church. The stirring of the indwelling power was openly manifested, and through all times since the same law may be traced as pervading the Church’s history. It does not set before us one equally prolific age, but times of utter coldness and weariness alternating with blessed seasons of refreshing. Ease, success, quietness, has often bred a deadly lethargy in the Church, and the Spirit seems to have left her; but when danger, or persecution, has brought her back to repentance, at once the Spirit stirred within her, and the times of refreshing were restored. This has been, all along its history, the distinctive criterion of the Church. No dead empire has ever lived again; no exhausted school of philosophy has ever revived; no sect has ever recovered again its early strength after falling into decrepitude. The Church of Christ alone has thus renewed her strength, and mounted up from her decay with wings as eagles, because in her only is this hidden presence of God the Holy Ghost, and therefore for her only these times of refreshing are possible.

2. The law of the life of separate souls. With what energy does it awake when the heart turns really to God. Who has not known hearts, which seemed dead, the mere slaves of selfishness, burnt out,--like exhausted volcanoes buried in their ashy scoriae,--which have suddenly revived, under the breathing of the Spirit, and put forth again, like the earth in the blessed spring-time, the manifested glories of an irrepressible life?


1. As this is the characteristic of the dispensation of the Spirit, how do they lose the glory and the blessedness of life who do not know it in its fulness? What earthly joy can be compared with these Divine refreshings? How different a life is this from the cold, doubting, questioning, colourless life which the greater number of those who call themselves Christians are leading. What know they, alas! in life or in death, of this word of promise, “He shall be in you?”

2. This indwelling of God must, with all its unspeakable blessedness, be accompanied by correlative perils. So the word of God distinctly teaches us when it speaks of sin against the Holy Ghost as marked with such a peculiar malignity of charity, and leading to so terrible and hopeless an end.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "John 14:16". The Biblical Illustrator. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth: whom the world cannot receive; for it beholdeth him not, neither knoweth him: ye know him; for he abideth with you, and shall be in you.

This is the first of the five Paraclete sayings in John, concerning which Hans Windisch published a thin tract upholding the thesis that these sayings form no part of John's original Gospel but are interpolations! After listing a few so-called arguments, he asserted:

This confirms our thesis: the five Paraclete sayings do not belong in the original text of the farewell discourses. They are alien entities in the course of both dialogues (John 13-14, and John 15-16).[11]

And what is the evidence that supports such a thesis? Absolutely none whatever, as a glance at Windisch's so-called reasons will prove. Here are the particular prejudices presented by him as "evidence."

1. "They can be removed from the context without leaving a gap."[12] Is this a reason? One might remove any of the beatitudes without leaving a gap, or take a whole paragraph out of the Declaration of Independence without leaving a gap.

2. "The idea that Jesus comes back to his own is nowhere to be found, apart from the Paraclete references."[13] The argument (!) of this is that: after removing the five passages from John's Gospel, the idea that Jesus will come to his own in spirit form is nowhere to be found. This is like saying, "When we take out a, e, 1o, u, and y, there are no vowels in the alphabet!" or "If we take out all references to it, the thing is nowhere visible!" Windisch is inaccurate in his allegation that these passages alone teach the coming of the Holy Spirit. See under John 7:37-39.

3. "The sending of the Holy Spirit is an entirely new idea which is not prepared for in what comes before it and is not referred to in what follows."[14] Only a person shutting his eyes against one of the most conspicuous elements in Christianity could make a statement like that. The preparation for this discussion of the Paraclete was laid as early as John 7:38-39 (which see) and was fully anticipated by the statement in John 14:12 that Jesus was going to the Father.

Abideth with you ... refers to the unlimited identification of Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, as evidenced by the descending dove at his baptism. Further, as related by all the synoptics, and which John had in view throughout, the concept of the Spirit being in the disciples was dogmatically affirmed from the very first.

And when they bring you to trial and deliver you up, do not be anxious beforehand for what you are to say; but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak but the Holy Spirit (Mark 13:11; Matthew 10:19ff; and Luke 12:11ff).

In this light, it cannot be logically said that the reception of the Holy Spirit as an indwelling force in Christians (especially the apostles) is "an entirely new idea." We might ask, "New to whom?"

Now the above three alleged reasons were presented as the sole support of Windisch's ridiculous thesis; and they have been presented and exposed here to show how groundless and unreasonable are the efforts of "scholars" to butcher the Gospel of John. We shall now give attention to the blessed words of the promise itself.

He shall give you another Comforter ... Note that the Holy Spirit, called here the Comforter, will come as a result of Jesus' action in praying the Father; and this is consistent with the thought that Jesus himself sent the Spirit. His actions and the Father's actions are one, as repeatedly affirmed throughout John. Ferm's definition of the term "Paraclete" is:

A term applied in John to the Holy Spirit, though in 1John it is used of Christ himself. It means literally, "called to one's side," for the purpose of assistance, and thus corresponds exactly to the Latin "advocatus". In the newer versions of the New Testament, it is translated "Advocate," but this unduly narrows the meaning. It implies not merely intercessory help but help of every kind; and the old rendering, "Comforter," is still the best one, when taken in its original sense of "strengthener."[15]

Another Comforter ... identifies Jesus himself as the Comforter of the disciples up until that time, but he was preparing them for his departure to the Father.

That he may be with you forever ... Unlike his own brief ministry, that of the Holy Spirit would be coextensive with the whole Christian dispensation.

The Spirit of truth ... This is another name of the Comforter and stresses his function of guiding the apostles into all truth.

Whom the world cannot receive ... The life founded upon materialism and sense alone cannot partake of the indwelling strength available to Christians.

Ye know him, for he abideth with you ... The Holy Spirit "without measure" (John 3:34) dwelt in Christ during his ministry. Therefore, the apostles did "know him," whether "him" is referred to the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit, the latter being meant here.

And shall be in you ... refers to the Spirit's indwelling, especially of the apostles.

[11] Hans Windisch, The Spirit-Paraclete in the Fourth Gospel (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1968), p. 3.

[12] Ibid., p. 2.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Vergilius Ferm, An Encyclopedia of Religion (New York: Philosophical Library, 1945), p. 560.

Copyright Statement
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on John 14:16". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And I will pray the Father,...., Here Christ speaks as Mediator, and promises his disciples, that he would intercede for them with the Father; which is designed as an encouragement to them to ask for what they want, in his name, and to comfort their hearts, which were troubled at the news of his departure from them;

and he shall give you another Comforter. This is no inconsiderable proof of a trinity of persons in the Godhead; here is the Father prayed unto, the Son in human nature praying, and the Holy Ghost the Comforter prayed for; who is the gift of the Father, through the prevalent mediation of the Son, and is another "Comforter"; distinct from the Messiah, to whom reference is here had! One of the names of the Messiah, with the Jews, is מנחם F21T. Hieros. Beracot, fol. 5. 1. T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 98. 2. Echa Rabbati, fol. 50. 2. , "a Comforter"; such an one Jesus had been to his disciples; and now he was about to leave them, and for their support under their sorrows, he promises to use his interest with his Father, that he would give them another Comforter, meaning the Spirit, who performs this his work and office, by taking of the things of Christ, and showing them to his people; by shedding abroad the love of the Father, and of the Son, into their hearts; by opening and applying the precious promises of the Gospel to them; by being a spirit of adoption in them; and by abiding with them as the seal, earnest, and pledge of their future glory; and with this view Christ promises to pray for him,

that he may abide with you for ever: not a few years only, as I have done, but as long as you live; and with all those that shall succeed you in the work of the ministry, and with the church, and all true believers unto the end of the world: this is a proof of the saints' final perseverance. When we consider these words, in connection with the preceding exhortation, to keep the commands of Christ, and as an encouragement so to do, it brings to mind a saying of R. Eliezer ben JacobF23Pirke Abot, c. 4. sect. 11. ;

"he that does one commandment gets for himself פרקליט אחד, ενα παρακλητον, the very word here used, "one advocate", or "comforter"; and he that transgresses one command, gets for himself one accuser.'

But though the word signifies both an advocate and a comforter, the latter seems to be the meaning of it here, as being more suited to the disconsolate condition of the disciples.

Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on John 14:16". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". 1999.

John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels

16. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

[He shall give you another Comforter.] I. Amongst all the names and titles given to the Messiah in the Jewish writers, that of Menahem, or the Comforter, hath chiefly obtained; and the days of the Messiah amongst them are styled the days of 'consolation.' The names of Messiah are reckoned up, viz. Shiloh, Jinnon, Chaninah, Menahem. And in Jerusalem Berac. we are told how the Messiah had been born in Bethlehem under the name of Menahem.

Luke 2:25; "Waiting for the consolation of Israel." Targumist upon Jeremiah 31:6: "Those that desire or long for the years of consolation to come." This they were wont to swear by, viz. the desire they had of seeing this consolation. So let me see the consolation.

Now, therefore, bring these words of our Saviour to what hath been said: q.d. "You expect, with the rest of this nation, the consolation in the Messiah and in his presence. Well; I must depart, and withdraw my presence from you; but I will send you in my stead 'another Comforter.'"

II. The minds of the disciples at present were greatly distressed and troubled, so that the promise of a Comforter seems more suitable than that of an Advocate, to their present state and circumstances.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on John 14:16". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". 1675.

People's New Testament

I will pray the Father. Rather, "request." The Greek word is not the one used when {we} are bidden to pray. The creature {prays;} the Son {requests}.

He shall give you another Comforter. The Holy Spirit; the Helper. The latter word more nearly expresses the idea of the Greek term than the word "Comforter."

Abide with you for ever. The Lord had been with them over three years, but is about to depart. Henceforth he will abide with them, not in person, but by the Holy Spirit that he shall send. Through this agency he will be with his people "always."

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Original work done by Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
Johnson, Barton W. "Commentary on John 14:16". "People's New Testament". 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

And I will pray the Father (καγω ερωτησω τον πατεραkagō erōtēsō ton patera). ΕρωταωErōtaō for prayer, not question (the old use), also in John 16:23 (prayer to Jesus in same sense as αιτεωaiteō), John 14:26 (by Jesus as here); John 17:9 (by Jesus), “make request of.”

Another Comforter (αλλον παρακλητονallon paraklēton). Another of like kind (αλλονallon not ετερονheteron), besides Jesus who becomes our Paraclete, Helper, Advocate, with the Father (1 John 2:1, Cf. Romans 8:26.). This old word (Demosthenes), from παρακαλεωparakaleō was used for legal assistant, pleader, advocate, one who pleads another‘s cause (Josephus, Philo, in illiterate papyrus), in N.T. only in John‘s writings, though the idea of it is in Romans 8:26-34. Cf. Deissmann, Light, etcp. 336. So the Christian has Christ as his Paraclete with the Father, the Holy Spirit as the Father‘s Paraclete with us (John 14:16, John 14:26; John 15:26; John 16:7; 1 John 2:1).

For ever
(εις τον αιωναeis ton aiōna). This the purpose (ιναhina) in view and thus Jesus is to be with his people here forever (Matthew 28:20). See John 4:14 for the idiom.

Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 14:16". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

I will pray ( ἐρωτήσω )

See on John 11:22.

Comforter ( παράκλητον )

Only in John's Gospel and First Epistle (John 14:16, John 14:26; John 15:26; John 16:7; 1 John 2:13. From παρά , to the side of, and καλέω , to summon. Hence, originally, one who is called to another's side to aid him, as an advocate in a court of justice. The later, Hellenistic use of παρακαλεῖν and παράκλησις , to denote the act of consoling and consolation, gave rise to the rendering Comforter, which is given in every instance in the Gospel, but is changed to advocate in 1 John 2:1, agreeably to its uniform signification in classical Greek. The argument in favor of this rendering throughout is conclusive. It is urged that the rendering Comforter is justified by the fact that, in its original sense, it means more than a mere consoler, being derived from the Latin confortare, to strengthen, and that the Comforter is therefore one who strengthens the cause and the courage of his client at the bar: but, as Bishop Lightfoot observes, the history of this interpretation shows that it is not reached by this process, but grew out of a grammatical error, and that therefore this account can only be accepted as an apology after the fact, and not as an explanation of the fact. The Holy Spirit is, therefore, by the word παράκλητος , of which Paraclete is a transcription, represented as our Advocate or Counsel, “who suggests true reasonings to our minds, and true courses of action for our lives, who convicts our adversary, the world, of wrong, and pleads our cause before God our Father.” It is to be noted that Jesus as well as the Holy Spirit is represented as Paraclete. The Holy Spirit is to be another Paraclete, and this falls in with the statement in the First Epistle, “we have an advocate with God, even Jesus Christ.” Compare Romans 8:26. See on Luke 6:24. Note also that the word another is ἄλλον , and not ἕτερον , which means different. The advocate who is to be sent is not different from Christ, but another similar to Himself. See on Matthew 6:24.

With you ( μεθ ' ὑμῶν )

Notice the three prepositions used in this verse to describe the Spirit's relation to the believer. With you ( μετά ), in fellowship; by you ( παρά ), in His personal presence; in you ( ἐν ), as an indwelling personal energy, at the springs of the life.

Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 14:16". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

And I will ask the Father — The21st verse, John 14:21, shows the connection between this and the preceding verses.

And he will give you another Comforter — The Greek word signifies also an advocate, instructer, or encourager.

Another — For Christ himself was one.

To remain with you for ever — With you, and your followers in faith, to the end of the world.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on John 14:16". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter1, that he may be with you for ever2,

  1. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter. The word "Comforter" does not fully translate the Greek word "Paraklete"; no English word does. The word "Advocate" may be used, and "Helper" is as good if not better than "Comforter". We should observe that by the use of the word "another" Jesus shows that he himself had been and would be a "Paraklete".

  2. That he may be with you for ever. But earthly fellowship with him was about to be cut short, and therefore the Holy Spirit would come, with whom fellowship would never be interrupted.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on John 14:16". "The Fourfold Gospel". Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

И Я умолю Отца. Надо было дать лекарство от той скорби, которая могла возникнуть у апостолов из-за ухода Христа. Кроме того, Христос обещает дать им силы соблюдать Его заповеди, ибо иначе Его увещевание не было бы действенным. Итак, Христос учит, что как бы Он ни отсутствовал телом, Он не позволит им оставаться без помощи. Ведь Он всегда будет среди них Своим Духом. Духа же Он называет здесь даром Отца, но таким, который Он Сам у Него вымолит. В другом же месте Он обещает дать Духа от Самого Себя. И то, и другое сказано верно. Ведь, поскольку Христос есть наш Посредник и Заступник, Он выпрашивает у Отца благодать Духа. А поскольку Он же является Богом, то Сам дарует ее от Себя. Смысл этого места таков: Я дан вам от Отца Утешителем, но на время. Теперь же, совершив Свое служение, Я умолю дать вам другого Утешителя, Который не будет временным, но пребудет с вами вечно. Имя «Посредник» присвоено здесь и Духу, и Христу, и присвоено по праву. Ибо и Тому, и Другому присуще служение нас утешать, оберегать и защищать Своим заступничеством. Покуда Христос был в мире, Он был Заступником Своих людей. Затем Он поручил их покровительству и защите Духа. Если же кто спросит: разве мы не находимся и сегодня под защитой Христовой, ответ готов. Христос, действительно, является вечным Заступником, но не видимым образом. Пока Христос жил в мире, Он открыто являл Себя Заступником. Теперь же Он защищает нас через Свой Дух. Христос зовет Духа «иным» из-за различия тех благ, которые мы получаем от Них Обоих. Христу присуще умилостивление грехов, усмирение гнева Божия, искупление людей от смерти, обретение праведности и жизни. А Духу принадлежит делать нас причастниками Самого Христа и всех Его благ. Хотя вполне правильно выводить из этого места и различение Божественных Лиц. Ибо, чтобы быть иным, Духу надо отличаться от Сына некоторым свойством.




Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 14:16". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". 1840-57.

Scofield's Reference Notes


G. Parakletos, "one called alongside to help." Translated "advocate," 1 John 2:1. Christ is the believer's Paraclete with the Father when he sins; the Holy Spirit the believer's indwelling Paraclete to help his ignorance and infirmity and to make intercession Romans 8:26; Romans 8:27.

(See "Holy Spirit," N.T. doctrine,) Matthew 1:18. (See Scofield "Acts 2:4").

And I will (See Scofield "Luke 11:13").

Copyright Statement
These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.
Bibliographical Information
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on John 14:16". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

Ver. 16. And he shall give you another Comforter] Or, pleader, deprecator, advocate, παρακλητον. Properly it signifies such a one as we send for, when we are in any danger, to advise and counsel us. The devil is called the accuser, κατηγορος, in full opposition to this name and title given here to the Holy Spirit; whose office it is (as this attribute here imports) to make intercession in our hearts to God for us; and upon our true repentance to make our apology, 1 Corinthians 7:11; to comfort us, by discovering our graces, 1 Corinthians 2:12, and by pleading our evidences, Romans 8:18, which they that refuse to read over and rest upon, they help Satan, the accuser, taking his part against themselves, and pleading his cause against the Spirit their Comforter.

That he may abide with you for ever] The Spirit (saith Dr Sibbs) is Christ’s vicar-general, with whom he leaves us, and by whom he is with us to the end of the world.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 14:16". John Trapp Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Christ comforteth his disciples here, with a promise of the mission of the Holy Spirit, to supply the want of his bodily presence.

Where observe, 1. The procurer of this blessing, and that is Christ, by his prevailing prayer, and powerful intercession; I will pray: it runs in the future tense; and so it is a promise of Christ's continual intercession. As long as Christ is in heaven, a Christian shall not want a supply of comfort and consolation here on earth.

Observe 2, The author and donor of the blessing, and that is, God himself; I will pray the Father, and he shall give. The Father, that is, my Father, your Father, and he that is the Father of comfort and consolation; I will pray, and he will give. It is an expression of great assurance.

Observe, 3. The blessing itself, the Holy Ghost, called here, Another Comforter.

Where note, 1. The divinity of the Holy Ghost; he that will supply the comforts of Christ's presence, must be as Christ is, the God of all comfort.

Note, 2. The person of the Holy Ghost; he is a divine person, not a divine quality or operation; then we might call him a comfort, but not a comforter.

Note, 3. The office and employment of the Holy Ghost; He is a Comforter; that is, an advocate, an intercessor to sue for us; an encourager, and one that administers consolation to us; and as he is an Holy Spirit, so are his comforts holy comforts.

Observe, 4. The stability of this blessing; That he may abide with you for ever. The best of our outward comforts are sudden flashes, not lasting flames: but the consolations of the Holy Spirit are strong consolations, they are abounding consolations, and everlasting consolations; especially the Holy Spirit will be the comforter of good men in the day of affliciton, in the day of temptation, and at the hour of death, when all other comforts flag and fail.

Observe lastly, The additional title given to the Holy Ghost, he is called the Spirit of truth; partly in opposition to Satan, who is called a lying spirit, partly because he teacheth and revealeth the truth, leadeth his people into all truth, and sealeth and confirmeth truth to the souls of believers: he is the spirit of truth, both in his essence and in his operations.

Learn hence, That as the Holy Spirit is true in his essence and nature, so is he true in his office as a comforter to good men; all his consolations being real and solid, and free from imposture and delusion.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Burkitt, William. "Commentary on John 14:16". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

16.] And then the Spirit shall proceed forth upon you. Not αἰτήσω, but ἐρωτήσω—“familiaris petendi modus,” Bengel:—rather perhaps, a manner of asking implying actual presence and nearness,—and here used of the mediatorial office in Christ’s ascended state.

παράκλητον] Olshausen remarks that the interpretations of this word range themselves in two classes, which again by no means exclude one another:—those of ‘COMFORTER,’ and those of ‘ADVOCATE.’ (“Teacher” (Theodore of Mopsuest. and Ernesti) is out of the question.)

The etymology of the word requires the latter as its strict meaning, and in this strict meaning it satisfies 1 John 2:1, παράκλητον ἔχομεν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα ἰησοῦν χριστόν: but not so all the places where it is used of the Holy Spirit,—nor this verse, where of the Son and Spirit both. And therefore the other meaning,—Comforter, including as it does in its fulness (see Romans 8:26, where both, the συναντιλαμβάνεσθαι and the ὑπερεντυγχάνειν, are united) the Advocate also, has been both here and in Germany (Troster, Luther) sanctioned by Christian usage as the most adequate rendering. See Archdeacon Hare’s Mission of the Comforter, vol. ii. note J a. He shews that Wicliff, from whom we have our Comforter, often used “comfort” for the Latin comfortari, as e.g. Luke 22:43; Acts 9:19 alli(194). Thus the idea of help and strength is conveyed by it, as well as of consolation.

It was this office (comfortari) which Jesus had filled to His disciples while with them:—and which the Holy Spirit was to fill even more abundantly (and in a higher sense, because their state would be higher) on the removal of Jesus from them.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 14:16". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 14:16. καὶ ἐγώ, and I) The twenty-first verse gives the connection of this verse with the preceding verses.— ἄλλον, another) Therefore Jesus Christ is also an advocate [Comforter, Engl. Vers.] Let Zechariah 9:12 be considered, as to whether it is a parallel in point: for in this very passage He saith, ἐρωτήσω, I will pray.(349) One Paraclete is Himself distinct from the other; and the office too of the one differs from that of the other. Therefore παράκλησις, the advocacy of the Holy Spirit, was intended to have something peculiar in it. Comp. ch. John 16:7-8, “It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.”— παράκλητον [‘Comforter’], Advocate, Paraclete) This word is not found in the LXX., and John alone of the writers of the New Testament has it. παρακαλεῖν is the Latin advocare, to call in to one’s help a patron: thence comes the term παράκλητος, one called in to render aid; one’s defender, patron (counsellor); one who speaks in a person’s behalf, and suggests to him what he ought to say. See John 14:26, “The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost—shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” Comp. John 14:13 as to what we ought to say to God: “Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son;” ch. John 16:8, as to what ought to be said to the world, “When He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.” The appellations, Paraclete, and, the Spirit of truth, occur conjoined also in ch. John 15:26. The former corresponds to the economy of Christ, comp. 1 John 2:1, “If any man sin, we have a Paraclete, or Advocate, with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous;” the latter, to the economy of the Father, comp. ch. John 4:23, “The true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship Him.” [The largest promises in this passage succeed one after another: as to the Holy Spirit, from John 14:15-17; as to the Lord Jesus Himself, from John 14:18-21; as to the Father, from John 14:22-24; and again as to the Holy Spirit, ch. John 16:12-15; as to the Lord Jesus, John 14:16-23; as to the Father, John 14:23-28.—V. g.]— μένῃ, that he may abide) So John 14:23, “If a man love Me,” etc., “we will come unto him and make our abode ( μονὴν, lasting stay) with him.”— εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα, for ever) Not merely for one or two years.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 14:16". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

This verse containeth a new argument by which our Saviour relieveth his disciples under their affliction for the want of his bodily presence; that is, the mission of the Holy Spirit,

another Comforter, as our translation reads it. For this he saith that he

will pray the Father; not that himself had no concern in the mission of the blessed Spirit; for himself telleth us, John 16:7, that he would send him; only for the attestation,

1. Of his human nature;

2. Of himself, as our Mediator; and:

3. Of his Father’s concern, as well as his own, in sending the Holy Spirit; he here saith, I will pray the Father, and he shall send you another Comforter.

That term

another, signifieth the personal distinction of the Third from the First and Second Person in the blessed Trinity. And the name here given to the blessed Spirit, Paraklhton, (which we too narrowly translate comforter), is a term exceedingly proper to signify all the operations of the blessed Spirit in and upon the souls of his people. The same word, 1 John 2:1, where it is applied to Christ, (as here it is to the Spirit), is there much better translated Advocate; and it is most probable that our translators here translate it

Comforter, because he is here promised to the disciples troubled, as fitted to their present distress. The verb from whence the word derives, signifies not to comfort only, but to exhort, and to be an advocate for another. Now it belongs to the office of an advocate to suggest to his client what may be for his advantage; which is also the office of the blessed Spirit: if he seeth his client in an error, to reprove and to convince him; which is also the work of the Spirit, John 16:8: if he seeth him weak and discouraged, to uphold, strengthen, and encourage him; this is also the Spirit’s work, Ephesians 3:16: if he seeth him running into an error, to restrain him; if he findeth him dull and heavy, to quicken him; if he seeth him ready to be run down, to defend him; if he hath any thing to do in the court, to prepare and dram it up for him, and, as occasion serveth, to speak for him. All these things (as might be largely showed) fall within the office of an advocate, and under the comprehensive term here used. And (saith our Saviour) he shall

abide with you for ever: I shall be with you but for a while, but he shall abide with you to eternity (as some observe this word is constantly used by this evangelist). So that the promise of the Spirit is not to be restrained only to the apostles and their successors in the ministry, or to be understood only of those extraordinary gifts bestowed on the apostles and first ministers of the gospel; but to be extended further, both with reference to persons and influences: and without doubt the influences of the Spirit, both as to gifts and graces, both upon ministers and more private Christians, are much more plentiful since the sending of the Holy Ghost, after Christ’s ascension, in the days of Pentecost, than ever they were before: not as to particular persons; a David, a Solomon, or some particular persons, might have greater measures than any or the most have since had; but as to the generality of ministers and Christians. Doubtless, since the pouring out of the Spirit in the days of Pentecost, there have been greater measures of the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit given out, and will be to the end of the world, than ever was in any age before Christ’s ascension; which is no more than what was prophesied, Isaiah 44:3 Joel 2:28, applied to the days of Pentecost, Acts 2:17, but not to be limited to that time or age, either for gifts or gracious habits: for as the extraordinary gifts and powers held in some degree after the apostles’ age, (if we may give any credit to ecclesiastical history), so both in those ages, and ever since, as to the generality both of ministers and Christians, (that is, such as are mentioned John 14:15, that love Christ, and keep his commandments), there have been fuller measures of gifts, of more constant, standing use for the church, such as those of knowledge and utterance, &c., and also of inward graces, than ever before was.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 14:16". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

умолю Отца Свой труд Священника и Ходатая Христос начал с просьбы, чтобы Отец послал Святого Духа для обитания Его в людях веры (7:39; 15:26; 16:7; см. пояснение к 20:22; ср. Деян. 1:8; 2:4, 33).

другого Греческое слово конкретно означает другого, имеющего те же качества, т.е. Кого-то, подобного Самому Иисусу, Кто займет Его место и будет совершать Его труд. Дух Христа – Третья Личность Троицы, имеющая ту же самую Божью сущность, как и Иисус, и единое с Ним, как Иисус с Отцом.

Утешителя По-другому, Помощника. Здесь греческое выражение буквально означает «позванный помогать рядом» и имеет значение кого-то, кто ободряет и поддерживает (см. пояснение к 16:7). «Пребывание» всегда связано с Его постоянным пребыванием в верующих (Рим. 8:9; 1Кор. 6:19, 20; 12:13).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on John 14:16". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Another, Comforter; another than myself, one who shall make good to you the loss of my personal presence. This is the first time that the word "Comforter" is applied, in the Scriptures, to the Holy Ghost. The Greek word, which occurs only in writings of John, means both advocate-as it is rendered in 1 John 2:1, where it is applied to Christ-and Comforter. The Holy Spirit is the Counsellor and Guide, as well as the Comforter of God’s people.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on John 14:16". "Family Bible New Testament". American Tract Society. 1851.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

16.I will pray the Father—The prayer of the Son, the ever living intercessor, consists in his wish and will ever going forth, that the work of redemption may be accomplished, by the power of the Father, in all its fulness and glory. And this prayer is a perfect divine sympathy with the wish and will of the Father; so that herein the Father and the Son are one, and the prayer of the Son is sure of fulfilment.

Comforter—Rather Advocate. In ancient times there existed the relation of patron and client. The office of patron included the various ideas of protection against arbitrary power, advocacy in law-suits, and consolation in difficulties and trouble. It is this office that the Paraclete, Comforter, or Advocate here mentioned, fulfils.

Abide with you for ever—He is not to reascend like me. His mission is to fill the entire space of time until my Second Advent. This is the dispensation of the Spirit.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 14:16". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Love for Jesus would result in the disciples" obedience to His commands. It would also result in Jesus" requesting another (Gr. allon, another of the same kind) Helper to take His place in His absence from them (cf. John 14:26; John 15:26; John 16:7-15; 1 John 2:1). The Greek word translated "Helper" or "Counselor" is parakletos. Both of these English words have connotations that are absent from the Greek word. Helper connotes an inferior, which the Holy Spirit is not. Counselor can call to mind a camp counselor or a marriage counselor whereas a legal counselor is more in harmony with the Greek idea. [Note: For further study of the term "paraclete," see Morris, pp587-91.] In secular contexts parakletos often referred to a legal assistant, an advocate, or simply a helper (e.g, a witness or a representative in court). [Note: H. G. Liddell and R. Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, s.v. parakletos.] The verbal form of this word, parakaleo, literally means to call alongside and, therefore, to encourage or to strengthen. Muslims typically believe that Mohammed is the fulfillment of Jesus" promise that He would sent another counselor.

Jesus spoke of the Trinity in the following relationships. The Son would request that the Father send the Spirit to take the Son"s place as the believer"s encourager and strengthener. It was hard for these Jewish believers who had grown up believing that there is but one God to grasp that Jesus was God. It must have been even more difficult for them to think of the Spirit of God as a person rather than as God"s influence. Nevertheless New Testament revelation is clear that there are three Persons within the Godhead (e.g, 2 Corinthians 13:14). Most non-Christian religions deny the triunity of God (e.g, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, et al.).

The Spirit of God had come on Old Testament believers temporarily to give them strength, but normally He did not remain with them (cf. Psalm 51:11). What Jesus spoke of here was an abiding relationship in which the Spirit remained with believers for the rest of their lives (cf. Romans 8:9). This new relationship to the Holy Spirit is one of the distinctive differences between the church age and former dispensations. It is a blessing few Christians appreciate as we should.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 14:16". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 14:16. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, that he may be with you for ever. The word here translated in our English Version ‘Comforter,’ and partially introduced into the English language as ‘Paraclete,’ means properly, One called to stand by us for our help, our Advocate, Helper, Representative. ‘Comforter’ is not its meaning. And the unfortunate use of this term, so dear to the Christian amidst the troubles of the world, has tended in no small degree to make believers think less of strength than of comfort, of the experience of a private Christian who needs consolation instead of that of one who has to face the opposition of the world in his Master’s cause. The ‘Paraclete’ is really One who stands by our side, sustains us in our Christian calling, and breathes into us ever new measures of a spirit of boldness and daring in the warfare we have to wage. He is the representative of the glorified Lord with His militant people upon earth. The promise of this Paraclete or Advocate is given four times in the chapters before us (the only other passage in the New Testament where the word occurs being 1 John 2:1); and in the first two, chap. John 14:16; John 14:26, it has reference mainly to the preparation of the heart and mind of the disciples; in the other two, chaps, John 15:26, John 16:7, to their actual work.

The Advocate thus spoken of is further marked out by the remarkable addition of the word ‘another;’ and the word implies that the first Advocate had been Jesus Himself, whose ‘going away’ prevented His continuing to be still the Advocate and Helper of His disciples. In this sense we find Him described by the very term here used in 1 John 2:1 : ‘We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.’ It is in the idea of representation that the two designations meet. Jesus glorified represents us before the Father’s throne; the Holy Spirit abiding with us represents Jesus gone to the Father. This word ‘other’ is thus full of the most precious meaning. It tells us that Jesus when on earth had been the Paraclete, the Advocate of His disciples. It suggests that what He had been to them during His earthly life, His representative will be after He has ‘gone away,’ so that every narrative of what He had done for them becomes a prediction of what the Holy Spirit will do for them and for us who come after them. The verb ‘ask’ of this verse is different from that so translated in John 14:13-14; and it can be used only of One who stands in that closeness of relation, in that intimacy of union with the Father, in which Jesus is represented throughout these chapters as standing to Him (comp. chaps, John 16:26, John 17:9; John 17:15; John 17:20).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 14:16". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". 1879-90.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Paraclete. This is a comforter: or also an advocate: inasmuch as by inspiring prayer, he prays, as it were, in us, and pleads for us. --- For ever. Hence it is evident, that this spirit of truth was not only promised to the persons of the apostles, but also to their successors, through all generations. (Challoner) --- I have not changed the word Paraclete, which signifies, both and advocate and a comforter. He shall remain with you, and in you, for ever. What greater happiness, what greater security for the faithful, than to have this divine promise, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of truth, remaining with the Church for ever, to protect her, and preserve her from all errors and heresies? (Witham) --- If the Holy Ghost had been promised only to the apostles, their successors could not have challenged the promise. But the promises and privileges were not merely personal, but attached to their office perpetually. Hence, the Holy Ghost, in every age and clime, perpetually watches over the Catholic Church, and preserves her from both open and secret attacks of her enemies.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on John 14:16". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

pray. Greek. erotao. App-134. Not aiteo as in John 14:18. See 1 John 5:16, where both words are used.

shall = will.

another. Greek. allos. App-124.

Comforter. Greek. parakletos, rendered "Advocate" in 1 John 2:1. Parakletos and the Latin Advocatus both mean one called to the side of another for help or counsel. The word is only found in John: here; John 14:26; John 15:26; John 16:7 and 1 John 2:1. So we have one Paraclete (the Holy Spirit) as here, and another with the Father. The Rabbinical writings often refer to the Messiah under the title Menahem (= Comforter), and speak of His days as the days of consolation. Compare Luke 2:25. See Dr. John Lightfoot"s Works, vol. xii, p. 384.

abide. Greek. meno. Same as "dwelleth "in John 14:10. See p. 1611.

for ever. Greek. eis ton aiona. App-151.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 14:16". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

And I will ... The connection between this and what before is apt to escape observation. But it deems to be this that as the proper temple for the indwelling Spirit of Jesus is a heart filled with an obediential love to Him-a love to Him which at once yields itself obediently to Him and lives actively for Him-so this was the fitting preparation for the promised gift, and He would accordingly get it for them. But how?

I will pray the Father. It is perhaps a pity that the English word "pray" is ever used of Christ's askings of the Father. For of the two words used in the Gospels, that signifying to pray as we do-suppliantly, or as an inferior to a superior [ aitein (Greek #154)] - is never used of Christ's asking of the Father, except once by Martha (John 11:22), who knew no better. The word invariably used of Christ's askings by Himself [ erootan (Greek #2065)] signifies what one asks, not suppliantly, but familiarly, as equals do of each other. Bengel notes this, but the subject is fully and beautifully handled by Trench ('Synonyms of the New Testament')

And he shall give you ANOTHER COMFORTER, [ allon (Greek #243) parakleeton (Greek #3875)]. Since this word is used in the New Testament exclusively by John-five times in this discourse of the Holy Spirit (here; John 5:26; John 15:26; John 16:7), and once in his first Epistle, of Christ Himself (1 John 2:1) - it is important to fix the sense of it. Literally, the word signifies one 'called beside' or 'to' another, to 'aid' him. In this most general sense the Holy Spirit is undoubtedly sent 'to our aid,' and every kind of aid coming within the proper sphere of His operations. But more particularly, the word denotes that kind of aid which an Advocate renders to one in a court of justice. So it was used by the Greeks; and so undoubtedly it is used in 1 John 2:1, "If any man sin, we have an Advocate [ parakleeton (Greek #3875)] with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." But it also denotes that kind of aid which a Comforter affords to one who needs such. The question, then, is, Which of these is here intended-the general sense of a Helper; the more definite sense of an Advocate; or the other definite sense of a Comforter? Taking all the four passages in which the Spirit thus spoken of in this discourse, that of a Helper certainly lies at the foundation; but that of a Comforter seems to us to be the kind of help which suits best with the strain of the discourse at this place. The comfort of Christ's personal presence with the Eleven had been such, that while they had it they seemed to want for nothing; and the loss of it would seem the loss of everything-utter desolation (John 14:18). It is to meet this, as we think, that He says He will ask the Father to send them another Comforter; and in all these four passages, it is an all-sufficient, all-satisfying Substitute for Himself that He holds forth this promised Gift. But this will open up more and more upon us as we advance in this discourse.

That he may abide with you forever - never to go away from them, as in the body Jesus Himself was about to do.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 14:16". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". 1871-8.

The Bible Study New Testament

16. I will ask the Father. See notes on Acts 1:4-5. Another Helper. Jesus himself is the means by which our sins are forgiven (1 John 2:2), and only he is the one who brings God and man together [the “go-between” (mediator)]. Another means “a second one of the same kind.” Both Jesus and the Holy Spirit plead with God for us [intercede for us], as we see from Romans 8:26; 1 John 2:1. To stay with you forever. Johnson says: “Through this agency he will be with his people “always.” Compare Ephesians 2:22.




Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on John 14:16". "The Bible Study New Testament". College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(16) And I will pray the Father.—Comp. Note on John 16:26. The pronoun is again emphatic—“I have given you your part to do. I on My part will pray the Father.” The word used for “pray” is one which implies more of nearness of approach and of familiarity than that which is rendered “ask” in John 14:14. It is the word which John regularly uses when he speaks of our Lord as praying to the Father, and occurs again in John 16:26; John 17:9; John 17:15; John 17:20. The distinction is important, but it has sometimes, perhaps, been unduly pressed. Both words occur in 1 John 5:16. (See Note there.)

And he shall give you another Comforter.—The better rendering is probably another Advocate. The word is used of the third person in the Holy Trinity here, and in John 14:26, and in John 15:26 and John 16:7. In each of these instances it is used by our Lord. It is found once again in the New Testament, and is there applied by St. John to our Lord Himself (1 John 2:1). In the Gospel the English version uniformly translates it by “Comforter.” “In the Epistle it is rendered by “Advocate.” But the whole question is of so much interest and importance that it will be convenient to deal with it in a separate Note. (Comp. Excursus G: The Meaning of the word Paraclete.) The word “another” should be observed as implying that which the Epistle states—the advocacy of the second Person in the Trinity, as well as that of the third.

That he may abide with you for ever.—The thought of the permanent abiding is opposed to the separation which is about to take place between them and the person of our Lord. He would come again to them in the person of the Paraclete, whom He would send to them (John 14:18), and this spiritual presence should remain with them for ever. (Comp. Note on Matthew 28:20.)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 14:16". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
I will
14; 16:26,27; 17:9-11,15,20; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1
18,26; 15:26; 16:7-15; Acts 9:31; 13:52; Romans 5:5; 8:15,16,26,27; 14:17; Romans 15:13; Galatians 5:22; Philippians 2:1
4:14; 16:22; Matthew 28:20; Ephesians 1:13,14; Colossians 3:3,4; 2 Thessalonians 2:16
Reciprocal: Psalm 68:18 - received;  Haggai 2:5 - so;  Luke 24:49 - I send;  John 5:19 - for;  John 7:39 - this spake;  John 14:7 - from;  John 14:17 - but;  John 20:22 - Receive;  Acts 1:4 - the promise;  Acts 2:33 - having;  1 Corinthians 1:4 - the grace;  2 Corinthians 1:4 - comforteth;  2 Corinthians 7:6 - that comforteth;  Galatians 4:6 - God;  1 Thessalonians 1:6 - with joy;  Titus 3:6 - through;  Revelation 22:1 - proceeding

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 14:16". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".

Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible

John 14:16

"And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him—but you know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you." John 14:16-17

The holy Comforter and most gracious Spirit does not take up a temporary abode in the heart of the Lord"s people. Where he once takes up his dwelling, there he forever dwells and lives. "He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever." Oh, the blessing! Where once that holy Dove has lighted, there that Dove abides. He does not visit the soul with his grace, and then leave it to perish under the wrath of God, or allow his work to wither, droop, and die. But where he has once come into the soul with power, there he fixes his continual habitation, for he makes the bodies of the saints his temple. He consecrates them to the service of God. He takes up his dwelling in their hearts; there he lives, there he moves, there he works, and sanctifies body and soul to the honor and glory of the Lord God Almighty.

And oh, what a blessing it is to have received the same gracious and heavenly Teacher as the Spirit of truth! If this be your happy case, you know the truth for yourself, and the truth is dear to your soul; it has been ingrafted by a divine witness in your heart, and inlaid by the power of God in your conscience. The truth as it is in Jesus is very, very precious to you. You cannot part with it; it is your very life. Sooner than part with God"s truth and your saving interest therein, you would be willing in favored moments to lay down your life itself.

But what makes you love God"s truth? What has given you a heart to embrace and delight in it; and when you have come to the house of prayer, it may be with a fainting body and a troubled mind, has yet supported your weary steps and brought you on; or when you have gone home from hearing the word, has cheered your heart, in the dark and gloomy night as you have lain upon your bed, and drawn your affections up to the Lord Jesus Christ? The Comforter, the Spirit of truth. Hebrews, and he alone, could give it so firm and enduring a place in your heart, conscience, and affections.

Then live that truth as well as love it, and proclaim its power and efficacy in your life and conversation. If the Spirit has written his truth upon your heart, he will bring forth that truth in your lips and in your life. He will make it manifest that you are "children that cannot lie." You will show forth the power of truth, in the sincerity of your speech, in the uprightness of your movements, in your family, in the Church, in your business, in your general character and deportment, and in everything which stamps the reality of religion and the power of vital godliness.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Philpot, Joseph Charles. "Commentary on John 14:16". Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible.

Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

Ver. 16. "And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever."

Jesus does not supplicate His Father as a servant, but as the Son, to whom He can deny nothing. If we remember the τοῦτο ποιήσω, and the "because I go to the Father," in which Christ arrogates to Himself an absolute participation in the Divine glory, we might expect it to follow, "And I will send you another Intercessor," as we find it actually in ch. John 16:7 : ἐὰν δὲ πορευθῶ, πέμψω αὐτὸν πρὸς ὑμᾶς. But the phrase our Lord used received its character from the design, everywhere apparent (comp. ver. 13), to refer everything in its last issues to the Father, who was not, as it were, constrained by the mediation of the Son, but was to be brought nearer by Him to the spirits of men—infinitely nearer than He stood to them under the old dispensation. Luther says: "Christ asks the Father, not in His Divine being and nature, in which He is equally with the Father almighty, but because He is true man, Mary's son." But the Angel of the Lord also, the Logos, supplicated the Lord on behalf of His Church upon earth, Zechariah 1:12; and the Lord assured Him that He was heard. "Another Intercessor:" Luther: "For I cannot be ever with you below in this manner. If I am to enter into My glory, and spread My kingdom by your means, I must die, and go to heaven, and leave you behind Me."

It seems at the first glance startling, that the sending of the Holy Ghost is here made conditional on the love of Christ and the keeping His commandments, while in 1 Corinthians 12:3 it is said, that no man can call Christ Lord but by the Holy Ghost. We have not, however, here to do with the mission of the Holy Ghost in general, but with His mission in a distinct relation, as the Paraclete, and as the Helper in that great process which the Church is ever vindicating against the world.

In regard to the Paraclete, expositors are very diverse. According to one party (Origen, Chrysostom, Cyril of Jerusalem, Theophylact, Luther), the word, which is used of the Holy Ghost only in the last discourses of Christ given by St John (comp. ver. 26, John 15:26, John 16:7; of Christ, in 1 John 2:1), means comforter, consoler. According to another, it is a judicial expression to designate advocates in judicial processes. The upholders of this interpretation appeal to classical Greek usage,, which is best explained in the treatise of Knapp, De Spiritu Sancto et Christo Paracletis (Opusc. t. i.), where παράκλητος, from παρακαλέω, to summon to aid, is used of those who, whether as agents or as influential friends, undertook the cause of those who stood before the judgment-seat.

But the interpretation Comforter has no trivial arguments in its favour. We read in Acts 9:31, concerning the first Christian congregations, καὶ τῇ παρακλήσει τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος ἐπληθύνετο, "and by the comfort of the Holy Ghost were multiplied:" comp. ch. John 6:1; John 6:7, John 7:17. There the Holy Ghost is a comforting, encouraging Spirit. It is obvious to assume that we have here an exposition or paraphrase of the name Paraclete; and that He was called Paraclete on account of His consolation.

Further, the verb παρακαλέω is never used in the New Testament for summoning to aid; and therefore παράκλητος could not be derived from it as an adjective of passive signification, advocatus. It is always used in the sense of speaking to, or encouraging and comforting—in so many instances, indeed, amounting to more than a hundred, that the exclusiveness of this meaning can scarcely be accidental. In Acts 28:20—the only place adduced by Knapp in support of the meaning, summon to aid—the common interpretation is appropriate: comp. ch. Acts 24:4.

Finally, παρακαλεῖτε παρακαλεῖτε τὸν λαόν μου, λέγει ὁ θεός, is the beginning of the second part of Isaiah, to the commencement of which, especially ch. Isaiah 40:3-5, the New Testament repeatedly refers, and everywhere with the view that its fulfilment belongs to the time of the new economy: comp. on ch. John 1:23, John 2:11.

St Luke, in ch. Luke 2:25, alluding to this παρακαλεῖτε, describes Simeon as προσδεχόμενος παράκλησιν τοῦ ἰσραήλ. It is hard altogether to sunder this παράκλητος from that παρακαλεῖτε. The Son of man had hitherto fulfilled and realized this παρακαλεῖτε: after His departure, the Holy Spirit would take His place.

These are very plausible arguments; but their weight is overbalanced by those which support the other interpretation.

And first, the form is of decisive importance. Derived from the 3 Perf. Pass, it bears a passive character; παράκλητος can no more mean Comforter than κλητός can mean Caller. That the older Greek expositors attributed an active signification to this form, is a fact not sufficient to outweigh this argument. Nor is it of much moment that Aquila and Symmachus, in Job 16:2, use παράκλητους where the Hebrew speaks of comforters, translated by the Septuagint παράκλήτορες and Symmachus παρηγοροῦντες. For even the παράκλητος, passively accepted, expresses the idea of supporting.

The second argument is, that we ought not, without due consideration, to forsake the classical Greek usage, in which παράκλητος always occurs in the sense of advocate-at-law. This has all the more force, inasmuch as the word bearing this meaning, and with it a series of other judicial expressions, had passed over into the Rabbinical phraseology; with the same meaning it is frequent in the writings of Philo (comp. Carpzov. Exerc. in Ep. ad Heb., p. 155; Loesner, Observ. ex Phil., p. 496),as also we find it in the epistle of Barnabas, who, in § 20, describes the wicked as πλουσίων παράκλητοι, πενήτων ἄνομοι κριταί.

In the document of the Church of Vienne (Eusebius, Hist. Ecc. v. 2) παράκλητος is used to designate one who represents the person of another in a judicial process. The passage is all the more remarkable, because it furnishes the first instance of an allusion to St John's sayings concerning the Paraclete, and because it goes on the supposition that they mention the word Paraclete with the meaning then current among Greek writers. Vettius Epagathus requests, when certain Christians were brought before the tribunal, that he might be heard ἀπολογούμενος ὑπὲρ τῶ ἀδελφῶν. This was refused him, and he was himself executed. It then goes on: ἀνελήφθη καὶ αὐτὸς εἰς τὸς κλῆρον τῶν μαρτύρων, παράκλητος χριστιανῶν χρηματίσας, ἔχων δὲ τὸν παράκλητον ἐν ἑαυτῷ, τὸ πλεῖον τοῦ ζαχαρίου, ὅ διὰ τοῦ πληρώματος τῆς ἀγαπῆς ἐνδείξατο, εὐδοκήσας ὑπὲρ τῆς τῶν ἀδελφῶν ἀπολογίας καὶ τὴν ἑαυτοῦ θεῖναι ψυξήν. He receives the name of the Christian's Paraclete, not because he addressed comfort to them, but because he came forward as their advocate and intercessor; and he proved by this courageous intercession that he had within himself the Paraclete promised by Jesus to His disciples, who therefore was not to be a comforter, but only an intercessor.

The Christian's conflict with the world presents itself in many ways under the aspect of a judicial process; and it was with reference to this aspect of it that Jesus had already previously promised His people the assistance of the Holy Ghost. In Matthew 10:17-18, He had predicted to His disciples, that "they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues, and ye shall be brought before governors and kings for My sake. But when they deliver you up," our Lord continued, "take no thought how or what ye shall speak; for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you." Here we have the full Paraclete, as he appears in classical writers, the agent and pleader at the bar; only the name παράκλητος is wanting. The parallel saying in Mark 13:9-11 is all the more appropriate in this connection, inasmuch as it occurs in a discourse which our Lord had delivered shortly before, on the Tuesday before the feast, and thus only two days previously.

If we understand Paraclete in the sense of comforter, it is hard to account for the narrowly restricted use of the word. As in our passage the Paraclete is promised to the disciples in connection with their relation to the world (comp. ver. 17), so also, in ch. John 16:7, the promise of the mission of the Paraclete is connected with predictions of the world's persecutions (comp. ver. 1). Generally there is no passage in which the idea of representative or advocate is not appropriate. In ch. John 15:26, the Holy Spirit is called the Comforter only in reference to ch. John 14:16 : the same Person, whom I have promised to send as your advocate in the severe conflict with the world, will render you great assistances also in other respects. In 1 John 2:1, Christ Himself exercises the function of an advocate for His own people with the Father. Christians have a hard double cause to carry through with God and with the world; and in neither can they succeed without a powerful representative. That such a relation of advocate to clients is not limited to classical usage, is shown by Job 29:12-17. Job describes himself there as availing himself of his powerful position for the defence of the poor and the miserable in the judgment, as a true Paraclete.

Hence, as there are reasons so decisive for giving the term Paraclete the meaning of advocate and intercessor, we must not be inclined to allow much weight to those weaker reasons which favour the signification comforter. The argument which rests upon the meaning of the word παρακαλέω in the New Testament is set aside by the remark, that the noun, as such, irrespective of its derivation, was imported and accepted from the then current judicial phraseology.And this observation has all the more weight, inasmuch as John, the only Evangelist in whose writings the word Paraclete occurs, is precisely the one who never uses the παρακαλέω elsewhere so common in the New Testament,—a remarkable testimony, also, in favour of the unity and connectedness of his writings. The coincidence of the term with the παρακαλεῖτε of Isaiah 40:1, we cannot regard as other than fortuitous; and must also assume, that in Acts 9:31 we have not an exposition of the name Paraclete, but only an allusion to it.

When our Lord says, "He will send you another Paraclete," it does not lead necessarily to the conclusion that He had hitherto actually and effectually approved Himself their advocate. The meaning may be this: Be not afraid of the persecutions, the judicial processes, which threaten you in the world, whether the Jewish or the Gentile world. If I cannot be your παράκλητος in them, I will provide for you another advocate in My stead. Yet there had been occasions when Jesus had, in a certain sense, literally shown Himself their judicial advocate: comp. for example. Matthew 12:1-8. And then the whole contest with the world may be regarded as a judicial process with it, as we find in the Old Testament the epithets of legal contention are applied frequently to all contests, so that the idea of the Paraclete is enlarged to mean help in every kind of conflict with the world. A yet further extension, to mean help in every other kind of difficulty, cannot be established here. Paraclete and process are inseparably connected.

The first fulfilment of the promise lying before us we find in the fourth chapter of the Acts. The Apostles were asked, before the high council, by what authority and in what name they did those things. Peter answered the question, "filled with the Holy Ghost," ver. 8. The members of the high council wondered at what they heard, and were unable to reconcile it with the position and education of the Apostles, so mightily did their Advocate make His presence and aid known, ver. 13.

The εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα, equivalent to πάσας τὰς ἡμέρας ἕως τῆς συντελείας τοῦ αἰῶνος, Matthew 28:20, gives us the comforting assurance that the promise was given to the Apostles not as individuals, but as representatives of all believers; that, so long as the world lasts, the Paraclete will discharge His function in the Church; and that the Church, in her conflict with the world, need never despair, however superior may be the world's numbers, dignities, and endowments. "Wherefore," says Luther, "there is no wrath, or threatening, or dismay; nothing but confident laughter, and sweet consolation in heaven and upon earth."

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on John 14:16". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

16.And I will pray to the Father. This was given as a remedy for soothing the grief which they might feel on account of Christ’s absence; but at the same time, Christ promises that he will give them strength to keep his commandments; For otherwise the exhortation would have had little effect. He therefore loses no time in informing them that, though he be absent from them in body, yet he will never allow them to remain destitute of assistance; for he will be present with them by his Spirit.

Here he calls the Spirit the gift of the Father, but a gift which he will obtain by his prayers; in another passage he promises that he will give the Spirit. If I depart, says he, I will send, Him to you, (John 16:7.) Both statements are true and correct; for in so far as Christ is our Mediator and Intercessor, he obtains from the Father the grace of the Spirit, but in so far as he is God, he bestows that grace from himself. The meaning of this passage therefore is: “I was given to you by the Father to be a Comforter, but only for a time; now, having discharged my office, I will pray to him to give another Comforter, who will not be for a short time, but will remain always with you.”

And he will, give you another Comforter. The word Comforter is here applied both to Christ and to the Spirit, and justly; for it is an office which belongs equally to both of them, to comfort and exhort us, and to guard us by their protection. Christ was the Protector of his disciples, so long as he dwelt in the world: and afterwards he committed them to the protection and guardianship of the Spirit. It may be asked, are we not still under the protection of Christ? The answer is easy. Christ is a continual Protector, but not in a visible way. So long as he dwelt in the world, he openly manifested himself as their Protector; but now he guards us by his Spirit.

He calls the Spirit another Comforter, on account of the difference between the blessings which we obtain from both. The peculiar office of Christ was, to appease the wrath of God by atoning for the sins of the world, to redeem men from death, to procure righteousness and life; and the peculiar office of the Spirit is, to make us partakers not only of Christ himself, but of all his blessings. And yet there would be no impropriety in inferring from this passage a distinction of Persons; for there must be some peculiarity in which the Spirit differs from the Son so as to be another than the Son.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 14:16". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". 1840-57.