What does John 14:16 mean?
ESV: And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,
NIV: And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever--
NASB: I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, so that He may be with you forever;
CSB: And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.
NLT: And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.
KJV: And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Verse Commentary:
Jesus commanded the disciples to love each other (John 13:34–35) and to obey His commands (John 14:15). He has also reassured them that knowledge of Him is their means of salvation (John 14:6). In that context—acting in His name—Jesus also promised to provide whatever is asked of Him (John 14:14).

English translations of this verse are relatively consistent, but translating from Greek blurs a subtle difference in this statement. When Jesus refers to the disciples "asking" for something in prayer, He uses the root word ait󠅍eō (John 14:13–14; 15:7; 16:23). Here, however, Jesus uses the term erōtaō. This also means "to ask," but carries a more personal and mutual sense. Jesus uses both words—with the same distinction between their requests and His—in John 16:26. This, once again, implies that Jesus shares a relationship with God which transcends mere humanity. It also reinforces the idea that prayer is not intended to blindly grant us our wishes.

"Helper," here, is translated from the root term paraklētos. This can also be translated as a "comforter," or "advocate." This is the same term John will use later to describe Jesus in 1 John 2:1. That connection has meaning—Jesus will later point out that He is leaving behind His earthly ministry specifically so the Holy Spirit can act (John 16:7). The Holy Spirit, in a sense, does from the inside what Christ would do from the outside: teach, convict, remind, and guide. In the following verse, Jesus will clarify that this Helper is the Holy Spirit, who is available only to those who believe (John 14:17).

This Spirit is guaranteed to be with the believer "forever." This contrasts with the work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament, which came and went from God's servants at various times (1 Samuel 19:23; 2 Chronicles 15:1; Judges 14:6).

The beautiful role of this "Helper" is also demonstrated by understanding its translation. In legal terms, the "defense attorney" is the paraklētos. The opposing side is the "accuser," from the Greek katēgōr, a term John uses in Revelation 12:10. The concept of an "accuser" features heavily in the Old Testament, through the phrase ha sā'tān. The One who stands by us and guides us is God, the Holy Spirit—our accuser and enemy is Satan.
Verse Context:
John 14:15–31 contains a prediction about the Holy Spirit. Jesus refers to this as the Spirit of Truth, and promises that the Spirit will arrive to help the disciples carry on after Jesus is ascended to heaven. Throughout this section, a person's love for Christ, their obedience to His teachings, and the indwelling of the Spirit are intertwined. As in prior statements, Jesus is focused on comfort and encouragement. He will continue to highlight the need to maintain faith, based on all He has said and done so far. Later, after advance warnings about what Christians will face, Jesus will return to describing the work and purpose of the Holy Spirit under the new covenant.
Chapter Summary:
Christ reassures His followers that faith in Him is faith in God. To know Christ is to know ''the way, and the truth, and the life'' (John 14:6). The words, actions, and miracles of Jesus should give Christians confidence to trust that He will make good on His promises. Among those are His guarantee that He is preparing to come for us, so we can be where He is. Jesus also predicts the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This is only available to believers, and this Helper acts to guide, teach, and remind us. Both for the disciples, and for future Christians, these words are meant to be comforting during hard times. Since Christ knew, in advance, what would happen, we can be even more confident to trust Him.
Chapter Context:
After completing His public ministry in Jerusalem (John 12:36–38), Jesus has washed the feet of the disciples (John 13:3–5), predicted His betrayal (John 13:21), and foreseen Peter's denial (John 13:37–38). Chapter 14 begins a series of remarks meant to encourage the disciples, in the face of dire warnings. Among these are reminders that Jesus is planning to bring them to be where He is, assurance that He is ''the way,'' and the first explicit promises of the coming of the Holy Spirit. Chapter 15 will continue this address, beginning with Jesus' claim to be ''the true vine.''
Book Summary:
The gospel of John was written by the disciple John, decades later than the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The author assumes that a reader is already familiar with the content of these other works. So, John presents a different perspective, with a greater emphasis on meaning. John uses seven miracles—which he calls “signs”—in order to prove that Jesus is, in fact, God incarnate. Some of the most well-known verses in all of the Bible are found here. None is more famous than the one-sentence summary of the gospel found in John 3:16.
Accessed 4/15/2024 11:33:53 PM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com