Goodbye was never going to be easy.
Jesus and His disciples had spent almost every day together for three years walking the Galilean countryside. They had seen Him feed thousands with a little boy’s lunch. They watched as He walked on water. They heard Him explain the scriptures and teach to huge crowds. No matter what Jesus did, this was going to be hard on His disciples. Jesus tried to prepare them for four chapters in the Gospel of John, and because of that scholars call chapters 14-17 the “Farewell Discourses.” They struggled to process what He was telling them. But each time, He told them that even though He had to go, He would make sure they were never alone.
Read John 14:15-18 silently.
What word does your Bible use in verse 16? Some Bibles translate the word Jesus used as Counselor. Comforter. Helper. Advocate. (Which one do you prefer? Why?)
John wrote his Gospel in Greek, and this is the word he used in verse 16:
Parakleton. Paraclete is a word that would have been immediately recognizable to John’s audience- a paraclete was a judicial advocate that stood beside you in a court of law. But that’s not what Jesus was promising us, so let’s break down the word itself. Paraclete is a compound Greek word, comprised of a preposition and a verb as well as a special ending that makes it a noun. (Y’all, it still makes my head spin.)
Let’s break the word down like this:
Para is a preposition meaning “besides, alongside, or by the side.” Kleo is a Greek verb meaning “to call.” Finally, tov is an ending to the show the compound verb is acting as a noun and would usually be translated “the one who.”
Alright, last part of grammar lesson- in this case, tov tells us that Parakleton is a masculine singular noun. Have you put it all together yet? Parakelton means “the one called alongside or beside.” Put our literal translation into the verse:
“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another One Called Alongside, who will be with you forever…”
Jesus knew that He had to leave us, but He made sure we would never be alone. He ensured that we would have His presence as the Holy Spirit until we could be with Him in paradise.
Paradise isn’t where, it’s who you’re with.
Our walk with the Savior in Paradise begins here.
It continues there, but it begins here.
Jesus will walk with you here and now and will continue to walk with you when you’re there.
You are never alone. He will never leave you. Never abandon you.
He will never forget you.