1 John 2:1
I was reading 1 John this morning and came across the above gem. Advocate. I wanted to know the full meaning of that word, so I looked up the Greek definition. This is where anyone who's followed my blog for awhile can shake their head and say, "There she goes again." Yes. I love words. And definitions. And particularly words with rich, deep definitions. It's like searching for buried treasure. So, let's go digging! :)
Parakletos - advocate, helper, aid, assistant, comforter, pleader, counsel for defense, intercessor, called to one's aid
Isn't that rich?! And let me tell you a secret. You probably already knew that Greek word. John, the beloved disciple of Jesus, was the only one who used that word in the New Testament, both in John and in 1 John. In John, he uses it to describe the Holy Spirit. What are some of the most common names of the Holy Spirit? The Helper. The Comforter. You've heard that, right? Well then, you already knew the word. Yes, you have my full permission to go do a celebratory dance. We need to celebrate the little things, right? So, go. Dance it up.
You back? See. That was fun, wasn't it? Now, even though you're super smart and already knew a Greek word, I want you to look at that definition again. But this time, read it like you've never heard it before. Allow the Lord to amaze you by what He's promised to be for us.
Jesus is your Parakletos.
Your assistance and aid.
I was struck by what a gift I've been given in Jesus. And how little I expect Him to be what He's promised.
You see, this word "parakletos" is just one title of our God. Think of the hundreds of other names in Scripture. Bread of Life. All-Sufficient One. Beloved. Captain and King. Good Shepherd. Righteousness. Everlasting Father. The list goes on and on. All this in Christ.
But how often do I run to Him to be my Helper when I'm struggling? Or seek my Counselor when I don't know His will in a decision? Or keep my eyes on the Shepherd when plodding through a day?
Oftentimes, I don't need a Helper, because I've already gushed my problem to my closest friends.
I don't seek the Counselor, because I've sought the latest self-help books and websites.
I can't keep my eyes on the Shepherd, because I'm too busy running my own life.
It's sad, but true. How has my thinking become so backward?
I want to be a wife someday. (I know it seems like I've jumped ship and abandoned any thought flow I had. Just stick with me and I promise this will make sense in thirty seconds.) I want to be the best wife ever. (Go ahead and roll your eyes. I don't mind.) I want to be my hubby's eager helpmate, passionate lover, best friend, greatest encourager, and closest confidante.
But what if six months into marriage, he started spending most of his free time with his buddies instead of me? And what if he no longer asked my advice, but depended on his boss? What if - what if he no longer found delight in my body, but turned to the fake reality of pornographic images?
Is my marriage analogy starting to make sense now?
"Sure," my husband could say, "I might not be the perfect guy, but I wake up and kiss my wife every morning, provide for her financially, and spend fifteen minutes or so of quality time with her, explaining the errands I need her to run and the chores that need taken care of. Oh, and I say 'please' and 'thank you', like, all the time. I don't see what her issue is."
Ugh, this hurts. How do I slip back into that mindset so often, when it's SO ugly? I've been given the greatest Gift this world has ever known - and I'm disinterested?
Oh friends, do you see Him?
- The One who joyfully agreed to go through one of the cruelest forms of torture and endure the full penalty of His Father's wrath for you, before an atom had ever been created.
- The One who single-handedly defeated all the powers of hell and sin and death combined and is right now Lord. Over. All.
- The One who watched your entrance onto the grand stage of life, seeking you out in love, as you turned your back on Him.
- The One who's heart has been beating with this consuming, unconditional love for you, even in your moments of deepest rebellion and darkest shame.
- The One who found you at the worst, led you to the cross, and showed you His adoption papers.
- The One who bids you to run confidently, boldly, excitedly into His throne room, because you're covered in His very righteousness.
- The One who knows all the lies the Enemy keeps whispering, all the shame he keeps replaying in your head and bellows over it all, "That child is Mine."
- The One who provided His very life and power to you, so that you don't have to "stick out" this holiness thing yourself.
- The One who is now waiting for you and looks with anticipation for the day He gets to enjoy uninterrupted communion with you forever.
- The One whose name is Jesus.
Let's accept the Gift.