Devotional of the week – A Privileged Relationship (5 in John 15-16 series)

When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. John 15:26

Photo: Creative Commons, James Burke

Photo: Creative Commons, James Burke

Inspired by dramatized courtroom dramas, I decided when at university that I wanted to be a lawyer. (I’m embarrassed to admit that one of them was the film Jagged Edge.) I got a job during the summers in a law office, and soon learned that the work was not all verbal sparring and dramatic closing statements. Nor, I realized, would I want one of the attorneys to represent me had I ever the need.

Here the Holy Spirit is called a Counselor, which we can translate as “Advocate,” or in our modern-day parlance, Attorney or Barrister. For as Gary M. Burge says in The NIV Application Commentary, “It is a judicial title describing someone aiding a legal argument” (p. 421). The Holy Spirit will live and dwell in the disciples; through them he will bear witness as an advocate of Jesus.

It’s mind-boggling to think that we have the world’s best attorney on our case. And to know that although we may be living through a terrible trial, where there seems no righting of wrongs, we can be confident that God as Judge will eventually bring complete justice. As the Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans: “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19). All of that – and no astronomical legal fees.

Prayer: Triune God, you are Judge and yet Counselor. Bring forth your truth in and through me this day.


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