The Gospel of John: Help!

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” (I John 14:15-17).

One of The Beatles’ most popular and familiar songs was also the title of their second film. The song, and film, are entitled Help! The lyrics by John Lennon and Paul McCartney are as follows.

(Help) I need somebody
(Help) not just anybody
(Help) you know I need someone

When I was younger so much younger than today
I never needed anybody’s help in any way
(Now) but now these days are gone (these days are gone) I’m not so self-assured (and now I find)
Now I find I’ve changed my mind, I’ve opened up the doors

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being ’round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won’t you please, please help me?

My independence seems to vanish in the haze
(But) but every now and then (now and then) I feel so insecure (I know that I)
I know that I just need you like I never done before

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being ’round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won’t you please, please help me?

The word “help” means to provide assistance, relief, comfort and service to another person in need. Concurrently, a “helper” is one who provides such assistance, relief, comfort and service.

When Jesus told His disciples that the Father would give them another helper, He meant a helper (παράκλητος; parakletos) who would also intercede, encourage and prove to be an advocate for the disciples. Dr. John MacArthur writes, “The Greek word specifically means another of the same kind, i.e., someone like Jesus himself who will take his place and do his work. The Spirit of Christ is the Third Person of the Trinity, having the same essence of deity as Jesus and as perfectly one with him as he is with the Father. 

Jesus made several identifying characteristics of this helper. What are they?

First, the helper would be with them forever. The helper would be eternally with them.

Second, the helper would be the Spirit of truth. This is a direct reference to the Holy Spirit.

Third, the helper or Holy Spirit cannot be received by the fallen world. The reason is that the fallen world is at odds with the Holy Spirit and cannot understand who He is and what He does (I Corinthians 2:14).

Fourth, the Holy Spirit, who was with the disciples, would soon indwell the disciples. In fact, the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit is one common characteristic each Christians equally shares (Romans 8:9).

Pastor Burk Parsons explains that, Because the Spirit of truth has been given to us, we can be confident that the truth will remain in us. He will keep God’s people from falling into soul-condemning error, and He does that by illuminating God’s Word to us and by moving us to study divine truth, which the Lord has given us in the Holy Scriptures. Let us thank Jesus for the gift of the Spirit, and let us ask Him to bless our study of His truth.”

The Holy Spirit is always there when we need “help!”

Soli deo Gloria!





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