Roles of the Spirit 1: Comforter

Roles of the Spirit 1:

Comforter or Helper

A dove coming to rest on an outstretched hand against a background of blue sky and doves in flight.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. John 14:16–17 ESVUK

But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you. John 14:26 Amplified

Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would be another helper, another comforter. The first comforter was Jesus himself, he walked along with the disciples and he was saying that the Holy Spirit he would send, the helper or comforter, would be like him. Helper or comforter is Parakletos in the Greek which means someone called to walk alongside you. Jesus walked alongside the disciples in his ministry but also alongside the marginalised, women, the poor, lepers and foreigners. Jesus words are always of comfort to those who were on the margins of society, even to a woman caught in the act of adultery. It was to those in power who used that power against the marginalised that Jesus had words of condemnation.

The Holy Spirit, Jesus said, would be like he was, comforting to the distressed but sometimes distressing to the comfortable. Both Jesus and the Holy Spirit show us what God’s priorities are there is a heavenly reward but those who seek their reward on earth have already got their reward and will not share the reward of heaven.

The Holy Spirit walks alongside us, picking us up as we fall. That could be by the Holy Spirit working directly and speaking God’s word to us, or more likely by other people coming alongside us because the Holy Spirit moves in the hearts of those he has filled and if we wish to be filled with the Holy Spirit, the spirit of the Holy God, then we should expect to have the Spirit move us to get alongside others.


The word comfort, used in older translations of the Bible originally meant strengthen. The Holy Spirit strengthens the weak, lifts up the fallen and gives the motivation in our lives as Christians. This could mean we end up lifting up the weakest in society or it could mean we end up speaking up for the poor to those in power. It’s the same thing really.

The Holy Spirit draws alongside us or close to us and encourages us to draw alongside or close to other people.

< Symbols of the Holy Spirit — Roles of the Holy Spirit — next >

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