Revelations from the Word

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The two Comforters

by Jean-Louis Coraboeuf

"If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will beg the Father, and he will give you another Comforter [parakletos], that he may be with you for ever, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see him nor know him; but ye know him, for he abides with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you orphans, I am coming to you... These things I have said to you, abiding with you; but the Comforter [parakletos], the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and will bring to your remembrance all the things which I have said to you" (John 14:15-26 Darby).

Jesus said to his disciples, "The Father will give you another Comforter". That shows that there are two Comforters. The Greek name parakletos means 'called aside', 'intercessor', 'advocate', 'helper', 'comforter'. Jesus Christ is then the first Comforter – He is our advocate (paraklètos) before our heavenly Father (1John 2:1) – and the Holy Spirit is the other Comforter who lives in us. Simeon who was a righteous and devout man, waited the consolation of Israel for he had been divinely revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Messiah (Christ) of the Lord (Luke 2:25-26). in taking the infant Jesus in his arms, Simeon saw in him the Messiah who would come to console Israel, and Anna the prophetess saw in Jesus the redemption of Jerusalem (Luke 2:36-38). Jesus was then the Messiah of God come to fulfil the prophetic words of Isaiah, "Comfort,comfort my people, speak tenderly to Jerusalem" (Isaiah 40:1).

According to the dictionary, consolation is the relief of affliction. Jesus came then, to console the people of Israel and put an end to her hard service and pay for her sin (Isaiah 40:2). It is why John the Baptist was this voice that cried "In the desert prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God..." (Isaiah 40:3-4). In this way he led some of the people of Israel to repentance so that the "Glory of the Lord will be revealed" in the person of Jesus the Messiah (Isaiah 40:5). It is a word of God which stands (Isaiah 40:8). The comfort of the Messiah is Good News for Jerusalem (Isaiah 40:8). For Israel, it is the end of bad shepherds and the establishment of the Good Shepherd (Ezekiel 34:22-23) who will tend his sheep, bind up his lambs and take care of his sheep who suckle (Isaiah 40:11).

Jesus said to his disciples, "It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you" (John 16:7). When Jesus was present in Israel, He was only visible in one place at a time for He was clearly man. After his ascension, the heavenly Father sent his Spirit who is omnipresent and who is able therefore to show himself over all the earth at the same time. The word of Isaiah, "And all mankind together will see it" (Isaiah 40:5) was not fulfilled during the first coming of Jesus. As John the Baptist came clothed with the Spirit of Elisha to prepare the first coming of Jesus, one of two witnesses will come with the same spirit to prepare the second coming of Jesus (Revelation 11:3-13). He will reveal himself clearly then in his glory to the eyes of all (Revelation 1:7). During his first coming, only those who had accepted Jesus as Messiah were consoled, while in the second coming, all the people of Israel will be saved and comforted of all their afflictions (Isaiah 52:7-10).