“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7).
Imagine a situation where you are in dire need and someone just comes along the way to your aid. There’s no telling how joyful you feel; your spirit is lifted up. In fact, we have all been in difficult, helpless or messy situations. Life teaches we are never guaranteed a smooth platform. More than not we are in need of aid whether or not we accept it. Even so to interpret a biblical verse as one above you need aid. Many usually turn to multiple aids for it. While seeking too many aids can cause excessive burden, a true and solitary aid is all sufficient, if one is willing to accept.
It is of that solitary Aid Jesus spoke in today’s passage. Jesus affirms to tell the truth. He is right if believed, because He is the truth. Undoubtedly, a sinless Man only speaks the truth. Of His many good qualities there is one that stands out. It is seeking our good or well-being. For this reason He came to earth and fulfilled the Father’s will. And so, by His blood we became (become) well. He is so good to us He further wished to do us good by willingly desiring to give us a permanent Helper in His absence. His absence is signified by His death on the cross and amplifies His goodness toward us for the Helper. This Helper as we know is recognized from the Scripture as the Holy Spirit. Jesus was willing to die so we can have a true helper in the shape of the Spirit. Only Jesus’ death would mark the arrival of the Spirit into believers. This was the Father’s will. Although when Jesus was on earth the Spirit was with Him, it was Jesus that worked on the forefront with the Spirit and alongside the Father (ex. John 5:17). Jesus’ purpose is to resurrect from the dead so those who believe in Him received justification (Rom. 4:25). After resurrection He can no longer be on earth; He goes to the Father and His place is not here. The Spirit is the only way for Him to be with us (Matt. 28:19, 20). So, it makes sense as to why He spoke of the Helper. It is the Spirit that works on the forefront now alongside Jesus and the Father. The Spirit works unseen and in and from the inner man. Hence, Jesus called His departure an advantage. By working without a body of His own the Holy Spirit is the most powerful helper.
It is very clear that the Holy Spirit is our helper. Have you ever had a helper before or did you see someone having one? How about an old age home or a nursery, have you seen helpers there? They do all things for those who wish to be helped. From a human standpoint it might seem bizarre to insinuate the Holy Spirit doing all things for us. But if we can think of it, it is the truth from a heavenly perspective. For someone who is more knowledge bound it is difficult to accept since he or she seeks proof from within the world and searches the Scripture for the stance they took. But the key is this – Jesus will send the Spirit, not to anyone, but to him who desires to be helped by Him in all matters whether small or great. This can include even the things you feel you can do. For example, when you are ill, you can desire to be helped by the Spirit. Then from God’s standpoint to go to the doctor may not always be the rule or profitable. The rule or profitable thing could be either to cope by grace or be healed. Besides, there are loads of others things the Spirit can help us with. He guides to choose the right things, right directions, right words, and right actions/works and make right choices and even have right thoughts. All these are timed rightly by the Spirit that we are perfect as our heavenly Father. Jesus did all these to His followers while on earth.
There’s nothing the Spirit can’t help us with that we can think of. The greatest help He gives is teaching God from the Scripture; all other helps we go to for it are weak and unprofitable. There are many whose expertise in biblical words or semantics is extensive and yet, it leads to exasperation. But with the Helper knowledge can be put to slavery. Interpretation is not about the output of one’s knowledge or the consequence of one’s intelligence. It is the help of the Spirit.