“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever…”
Explanation and Commentary of John 14:16
Jesus is giving to the disciples what they heard as bad news, that he would be leaving them in his bodily form. But Jesus wanted them to see it as good news. After dying on the cross for their sins, he would rise again and ascend into heaven, at which point he will send the comforter, the Holy Spirit, the advocate, to help them and to be with them forever. In this way, Jesus will be with them until the end of the age (Mt 28:20).
Just as the disciples were unable to conceptualize this and understand how this would be better for them than having Jesus present in the flesh, we Christians today can take for granted the amazing fact of the Holy Spirit living in us. Who has not said that they wish Jesus was present today in bodily form? But we should not think that would be better than what the Church was given at Pentecost (Acts 2). God with us, and in us, building us into a spiritual temple is a glorious reality. By his power, we are able to mortify the deeds of flesh (Ro 8:13), walk by the Spirit (Gal 5:16), be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Ro 12:2).
Breaking Down the Key Parts of John 14:16
The conjunction follows the statement, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (Jn 14:15). The promise of the Holy Spirit is in part for the sake of keeping to his commandments.
#2 “…I will ask the Father,”
Romans 8:34 says, “Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” Jesus is able to ask the Father for things on our behalf.
#3 “and he will give you another advocate to help you…”
God the Father and God the Son will send God the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus refers to here as, “another advocate.” An advocate is someone who works on our behalf, especially as a go-between for a judge and a defendant. The presence of the Holy Spirit is a crucial part of life in Christ, and the history of the Jews before Christ shows us what it is like for a people to attempt to follow God without the empowerment of the Spirit. Though he was present in certain rulers and prophets throughout history, only after Christ’s promise was fulfilled at Pentecost were the people of God empowered to obey and have any real power over their flesh. The Gospel message is that Christ’s work on the cross saved us, but one look at the apostles before and after the empowerment of the Spirit shows us the great necessity of his help and advocacy for the Christian, not only for the sake of Christian living in obedience to God but also for empowerment for the continuation of Jesus’ ministry in and through the Church.
#4 “…and be with you forever.”
Jesus told his disciples that he would be with them to the very end of the age (Mt 28:20), but this says that God will be with us forever, meaning beyond the end of the age. This is not a contradiction, but rather an extension. When he said he’d be with us to the very end of the age, he was speaking in the context of the Great Commission that lasts until the very end of the age. At the very end of the age, we will then go on to be with him forever and ever. So, he is really saying that he will be with us to the end of the age and beyond into eternity.
Bible Study on John 14:16
Expert Overview of John Ch. 13-21
Biblical Translations of John 14:16
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever.”
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.”
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever.”
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.”
“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever.”
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.