The Role of the Holy Spirit
Jesus knew that the time was nearing when He would have to depart from the Apostles. With Jesus around them, the Apostles were fearless, complacent and enjoying in his company. This is like when Jesus had answered the question of the Pharisees regarding his Disciples not fasting. Then Jesus had answered, one does not when the bridegroom was with them. Jesus had to prepare them to live without him and be fearless even in His absence. But at the same time Jesus promises them that they would not be deserted and left to fend for themselves like orphans. He promises them the Paraclete, the Counsellor who comes from the Father, none other than the Holy Spirit to be with them, to assist them. He says the Holy Spirit will help them understand Jesus’ instructions and the spirit of his instructions. Jesus then tells them do not be afraid to testify and witness to Jesus.
He was preparing the Apostles for the persecutions that they would face from the Jews, Romans and Gentiles and some of them would also be killed for their witness of Jesus. Jesus is asking them to call on the Holy Spirit who has come from the Father who will guide them and protect them in all circumstances. As John the author wrote this Gospel around 90 – 100 BC, John has only seen the trials becoming more, and hence this reminder of Jesus’ words was written to encourage the disciples to continue the good work without worrying of the results even to their death. This is the promise from Jesus to his people that they need not worry of the outcome, and to continue doing good work and spread the good news to the world and once they leave the earth, they will be with Jesus in His Father’s house.
He also explains to them, why the people who will trouble them and kill them don’t think that they are doing any wrong. They thought what they did to be religiously right, since the Mosaic Law demanded that anyone blaspheming be put to death, hence they assumed this to please God. Jesus informs them that they are doing this because they have failed to understand God and understand his Law.
Persecutions have not stopped even today. Priests, religious, missionaries, evangelist and even lay Christians are troubled and tortured all over the world. Let us intercede for them that they be able to complete the task of making known Jesus, his Gospel and his actions/works. That we too in our own proclaim Jesus our Lord and Saviour to everyone.