The suggested text for this day is John 14:15-21. We have included verses 13 and 14. They ought not be left out.
Jesus' answer to requests clearly shows what kind of God the Father is. He is one in essence with the Son and is glorified through the Son. Jesus is central to the thoughts in verses 12, 13, and 14.
"If" does not denote uncertainty as becomes clear in verse 21, an expansion of verse 15. First comes love for Jesus, then the keeping of His injunctions. Note that AV and NKJV (based on the Koine text) read "keep" not "You will keep."
The verb "love" is found once in this verse, and four times in verse 21. It is not something which God requires of Christians from their own resources. Look at Galatians 5:6; 1 John 4:19. The atonement is central to it. It immediately follows where there is faith in the atonement. It is not mere "liking." It is a steady state and activity of body, soul, and mind. The Christian is a new creature. Old things have passed away. He loves God with heart, soul, mind and body. He loves his neighbor as himself.
This verse lays great stress on the fact that Jesus is the author and giver of not merely "commandments" but all precepts and injunctions, whether Law or Gospel. The attitude of the believer toward the Bible is wholly different from that of the unbeliever. "You will keep" is a promise and a prediction. What a wonderful thing to say about believers in a world that is godless, preoccupied with lust, selfish and rebellious! Like children who are willingly obedient to the word of their parents.
Verses 16-17 speak about the coming of the Holy Spirit. "I will ask" denotes a request from an equal to an equal. Implicitly Jesus is saying that He is true God. Note that in one line all three members of the Trinity are mentioned and distinguished.
People cannot "pray" the Holy Spirit down upon themselves. He comes at the request of the Son to the Father. Any talk about "getting the Spirit," to the exclusion of Jesus requesting the Spirit is utter delusion.
"Another" means "another, additional" not "of a different kind."
"Counselor" is variously translated "Comforter" (AV, AAT); "Counselor" (RSV, NIV); "Advocate" (NEB); "Helper" (NASB, NKJV); and, "Someone else to stand by you" (Phillips). He will do for believers what Jesus did for His disciples while He was on earth. Jesus, too, is called our "Comforter" 1 John 2:1, because He is the propitiation for our sins.
Bengel: One Paraclete is Himself distinct from the other; and the office too of the one differs from that of the other. Therefore the advocacy of the Holy Spirit was intended to have something peculiar. Cf. John 16:7.8. This word is not found in the LXX, and John alone of the writers of the New Testament has it.
The Father will "give" Him. Very often the charismatics forget this. The Spirit is a gift of the Father, not a reward for lots of agony and prayer. "To you," there is no limitation for a certain group of so-called charismatics.The gift has a purpose
In all cases there is no limitation of a charismatic sort. Jesus was sent into the world for all people as Advocate. The Holy Spirit is sent into the "heart" and life of believers as Advocate forever. Look at Romans 8:26.
Bengel: Compare John 16:13. The Spirit, who has the truth, reveals it, namely by giving knowledge in the understanding; confers it by experiential proof and taste in the case of the will; testifies of it to others also through those to whom He has revealed it; and defends that truth of which John 1: 17 speaks. . . . It is the truth that makes all virtues in us true and real. Otherwise without it there is a kind of knowledge that is false, faith that is false, love that is false, hope that is false; but there is no such thing as truth that is false.
Now Jesus speaks of two groups of people in their attitude and relationship to the Holy Spirit: the world and you. For the attitude of the world compare 1 Corinthians 2:14. The world is spiritually dead. Therefore it cannot receive the Spirit. All synergism is gone.
The world has no spiritual sight or knowledge. The Spirit's work and truth are foolishness to the world. Never expect anything else from the world.
On the contrary, "you believers" emphasizes the wonderful revealed knowledge which affects the heart, will and mind. The Spirit does not remain in and with unbelievers. He does so for believers.
Note the Spirit constantly lives, not the on-again, off-again principle of the charismatics. Similar things are said elsewhere in the New Testament of Jesus' relationship to believers, but there is a sense in which the Holy Spirit and His work is closer to believers now than Jesus was to His disciples while He was on earth. Never wish yourself back to the years 30-33 AD.
Verses 16-17 were devoted to the Spirit; verses 18-21 are devoted to the Son; verses 22-24 are devoted to the Father. The Triune God is the Saving God.
"Not will I abandon you orphans." They feared that He would. An orphan is, of all people, most helpless, more so than a widow. What a promise! Note that Jesus does not say: "I will return" but "I am coming." He came first in the incarnation. He came again in the Resurrection and at Pentecost. He will come again on the Last Day. His "coming" grows.
Note the close association. Where the Holy Spirit is, there is also Jesus.
When Jesus removed His physical and visible presence, the world no longer saw Him, Acts 10:41. Jesus means that soon His mode of presence would change. This includes the Christian witnesses who saw Him after the resurrection but is not limited to them. This "seeing" covers all believers since Pentecost. In the first part of the verse means primarily physical sight. In the second part it means the perception which is by faith. In what sense does the believer see Jesus? He knows that he himself is alive, spiritually alive because Jesus is alive. The believer is alive by faith ONLY because Jesus is alive. No synergism here.
"On that day" is Pentecost. "Realize" means effective, intimate, saving knowledge.
First the verse denotes the unity of essence between the Father and the God-man, Jesus. The second part denotes the mystical union existing between the believer and Christ. The point is that the relationship subsisting between Father and Son is as close as the relationship subsisting between Savior and believer. A tremendous thought! Of course, we are not God, but our relationship to the Father is as close as is the relationship between Father and Son. No wonder the disciples were so courageous beginning with Pentecost! Nothing terrified them then.
How could anyone possibly add anything to this? Note the centrality of love between the believer and the Trinity. Note also that the persons of the Trinity work in utter harmony. Even the closest of mere human relationships is temporal and their presence with each other is intermittent, not constant. But the presence and relationship of the Trinity with the child of God is constant and will never end.