Never Abandoned

Never Abandoned

Scripture: John 14:15-21 (NRSVue)

Jesus tells the disciples that after he returns to the Father he will send “another Advocate to be with you forever.” The Greek word for Advocate is paraclete, which is an amazingly rich word that can refer to: defense attorneys, companions, helpers, friends, protectors, advocates, counselors, advisors, strengtheners, mediators, intercessors, spokesmen, teachers, and witnesses.

What’s really cool is this—Jesus says that he will send ANOTHER paraclete—who will never leave us. A second paraclete. Who is the first paraclete? Jesus. He’s on our side, like God is. But now Jesus is leaving. This passage is part of Jesus’ “Farewell Discourses.” Jesus will be gone three days after his crucifixion, then return after his resurrection, but then he will return to the Father in heaven. But he won’t leave us alone. Jesus will send ANOTHER Encourager—the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of Truth. And who is the truth? Jesus! I AM the TRUTH says Jesus. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ. The Spirit is Christ’s presence to us—always with us, always inside us. Dwelling with us, making his home in us. We are never alone.


Bible Study Questions

  1. This passage is part of Jesus’ Farewell address in John’s gospel. How might these words bring comfort to the disciples when Jesus returns to the Father?
  2. What is the connection between love and obedience? How would you describe being obedient to Jesus?
  3. What happens when a disciple commits to love without an attitude of obedience? Conversely, can we obey Jesus, but not in a loving way?
  4. Jesus says that he will send another Advocate (Helper, Comforter, Friend). Who is the first Advocate?
  5. How is the Holy Spirit (and also Jesus) our Advocate in our lives?
  6. The Holy Spirit is described as not only our Advocate, but the Spirit of Truth. What is the truth? Who is the Truth?
  7. The Triune God wants to be present with us, indwell us, and make a home with us. How does God’s desire for relationship with us make you feel?
  8. What do you think Jesus means when he says, “I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.”


May 14, 2023

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Sermon Art: “Our Heart of Gold” by Tanner Lawley (2018),

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