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The Holy Spirit our Helper

The Holy Spirit our Helper

The gospel for this coming Sunday (Pentecost) is John 15:26–27, 16:4b–15. The setting is a portion of our Lord’s farewell address to his disciples on the night before his crucifixion. It speaks of the transition from Jesus’ work to that of the Holy Spirit.

The disciples were still a little shell-shocked from Jesus’ death and resurrection, as well as how quickly the events of the post-resurrection were unfolding. They were afraid to ask Jesus what was coming next. They were overwhelmed and sad.

Like Jesus does with us, he did not leave the disciples comfortless. While he still had much to say to them, he knew that at that moment, they were not quite ready to handle it. At that point, Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit to inform and lead them into their future without Christ.

In our text, the word “Helper” is used to refer to the Holy Spirit. The Greek word can be translated in various ways: “intercessor,” “consoler,” “comforter,” “advocate,” “helper.” These lend themselves to an image of someone who stands beside us in court or in times of need.

Jesus goes on to say just what they and we can expect from the Holy Spirit. Jesus validates what he is telling the disciples by stating: “I tell you the truth.” (v.7)

  • The Holy Spirit gives us absolute, saving Truth. His whole work and endeavor is to witness to Christ.
  • The Holy Spirit will convict the world of its sinfulness. The word “convict” means to expose, demonstrate, and convince with overwhelming evidence. Its purpose is to convince people to turn from their sinful ways and believe in Christ.
  • The Holy Spirit will testify that Christ is the Righteous One. His death is the righteousness of God and gives life to the world.
  • The Holy Spirit will now give this victory judgment to all through Word and Sacrament.
  • The Holy Spirit will speak only what comes from the Father and the Son. And He would tell them things still to come, prophecies they would write down also for us to learn. So God’s truth for us would be revealed. So we, too, would learn what Jesus’ work has meant and what lies ahead for us and for the world.
  • The Holy Spirit will invest Jesus with dignity, honor, excellence, and majesty. His work is to place Jesus before all people.

Just as the Holy Spirit guided the disciples into a deeper understanding of Christ’s Word, so he will do the same for us.


Prayer: Holy Spirit be my teacher so I can daily have a deeper understanding of the precious Scriptures. Amen


©Eugene Brunow  Used by permission.