Comforter

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.  John 14:16
 
Jesus spoke these words to His disciples after He told them that his death was drawing near (see John 13:33). He would no longer be with them in a physical sense, but He was not leaving them alone. He would send a Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to fill the void caused by His own return to the Father in heaven after His resurrection.
 
Notice that Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as “another” Comforter. The Greek word He used means “another of the same kind.” This implies that Jesus Himself was the other or first Comforter of His disciples and He was sending another like Himself to serve as His stand-in. So close and personal would be the presence of the Holy Spirit that it would seem as if Jesus had never left. 
 
The Greek word behind Comforter is parakletos, meaning “one called alongside.” This is the same word translated as “Advocate,” one of the names of God the Son. In addition to “Comforter” and “Advocate” as rendered by the King James Version, this word is translated as “Counselor,” “Companion, ” “Guide,” “Helper,” “Instructor,” or “Teacher” by other English versions of the Bible.
 
When Jesus promised that the Comforter will come “alongside” us, He meant that the Holy Spirit would help us in our times of need. If we are lost and stumbling, He will serve as our Guide. If we are discouraged, He will lift us up. If we are confused, He will bring wisdom and understanding. If we are mired in grief, He will sustain us with His presence. The Comforter will be there for us when we need Him most. 


Breath Of The Almighty

The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.  Job 33:4
 
This name of the Holy Spirit comes from the long speech that the young man Elihu addressed to Job. He spoke after Job’s three friends-Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar-had ended their speeches.
 
Elihu stated that he owed his life to the Breath of God. This is a reference to God’s creation of the first man in the Garden of Eden. The Lord “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” It was God’s own breath that brought Adam to life. Even today, our ability to breathe life-giving oxygen into the lungs is evidence of God’s care of the physical world through the agency of His Spirit. 
 
The Holy Spirit, or the Breath of God, also energizes Christians in a spiritual sense. Just before His ascension to His Father, Jesus empowered His followers for the task of carrying on His work by breathing on them and charging them to “receive the Holy Spirit.”  This is the same life-giving Spirit that enables Christians in our time to witness to others about God’s transforming power. 


Word

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  John 1:1
 
The prologue of John’s Gospel (John 1:1-18), of which this verse is a part, focuses on Jesus as the eternal Son, who existed with God the Father before the creation of the world.
 
This verse is an obvious reference to the first three words of the book of Genesis. Just as God was “in the beginning” (Genesis 1:1), so Jesus existed “in the beginning” (John 1:1) as the eternal Word. This Word, who assumed human form to make His dwelling among human beings on earth (see John 1:14), is comparable to the words that God used to speak the universe into being (see Genesis 1:3).
 
Words are the primary units of language that enable humans to communicate with one another. In the same way, Jesus reveals the will and mind of God the Father to earthbound mortals. 
 
The description of Jesus as the Word is unique to the apostle John’s writings. In his first epistle, John declares, “There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” (1 John 5:7). This leaves little doubt that John thought of Jesus as the Word who was the second person of the Trinity.
 
John continues this imagery in the book of Revelation. He describes Jesus as victorious over all His enemies in the end time: “He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God” (Revelation 19:13 NIV).


Way

Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  John 14:5-6
 
This is one of only three places in the Gospels where Thomas is mentioned apart from a mere listing of the twelve disciples (see John 11:16; 20:24-29). The context of these two verses shows that Thomas was puzzled by Jesus’ statement that He would leave His disciples soon after his death, resurrection, and ascension (see John 14:1-4).
 
Thomas wanted to know how he and the other disciples could find their way to Jesus after He left. Jesus replied in spiritual terms, assuring him that He was the only Way to their eternal reward, and that Thomas didn’t need to know all the details about this destination or how to get there.
 
This conversation between Jesus and Thomas provides a valuable lesson for modern Christians. Sometimes our curiosity about heaven takes our eyes off the One who has promised to take us there. We wonder where heaven will be. What will our resurrected bodies look like? Will we know our family members and friends? Will heaven’s streets be paved with literal gold?
 
The truth is that we don’t know the answers to any of these questions. But we do have a grasp of the most important thing: Jesus is the only Way to that wonderful place. He knows the way there, and we know Him as the Way. So we can relax, put away our road maps, and leave the driving to Him. 


Vine

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing.  John 15:5
 
Jesus spoke these words to His disciples during the Last Supper, which He ate with them on the night of His arrest. He knew they would need to be firmly attached to Him as the Vine in order to weather the crisis of His forthcoming execution and death. 
 
The imagery that Jesus used was that of a grapevine. This domestic vine has one main stem with several smaller shoots or runners branching off in all directions. These smaller branches owe their lives to the main stem. They could not live apart from the big vine that is rooted in the ground. In the same way, Jesus’ disciples were to stay attached to Him as their Lord and Savior. He as the Vine would sustain and nourish them so they would bear “much fruit” in the days ahead. 
 
The fruit that Jesus mentions probably refers to the witness that they would bear for Him after His resurrection and ascension to God the Father. Most of these disciples, His “branches,” abandoned Jesus when He was arrested and executed on the cross (see Matthew 26:56). But after His resurrection, they regained their courage and continued the work that Jesus had trained them to do.
 
In the Old Testament, the nation of Israel was often referred to as a vine (see Psalm 80:8; Isaiah 5:2). But the people fell into sin and idolatry, becoming an empty vine that bore no fruit for the Lord (see Hosea 10:1). Jesus, therefore, has become the True Vine (see John 15:1) whom God has sent to bring salvation to His people. 


Truth

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  John 14:6
 
Jesus used this name for Himself in a conversation with His disciple Thomas. This is the only place in the New Testament where Jesus is referred to as the Truth.
 
We usually use the word truth in referring to words or speech. For example, we might pay a compliment to a friend by saying “She always tells the truth.” This use of the word certainly applies to Jesus. He always spoke the truth to His disciples and to others, even when they had a hard time accepting it. This was especially the case with His statements about His coming death (see Matthew 16:21-22).
 
But beyond speaking the truth, Jesus acted out the truth in His life and ministry. And even more importantly, He was and is the Truth, because He is the ultimate reality in the universe. This is the sense in which Jesus referred to Himself as the Truth in His conversation with Thomas. 
 
We live in a world in which it is sometimes hard to nail down the truth. Our materialistic society tries to convince us that money and possessions are the essence of truth and the way to the good life. Some people say that learning or knowledge is the ticket to the truth. Others believe that each person has to find truth for himself by constructing it from him own life experiences. What is truth for one person may not be truth for another, these people say, because there is no such thing as absolute truth.
 
These modern theories remind us of Pilate, the Roman governor who pronounced the death sentence against Jesus. When Jesus told him that He had come into the world to “bear witness unto the truth” (John 18:37), Pilate asked sarcastically, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). The Truth stood so close to Pilate that he could touch it, but he missed it because of his unbelief.
 
What a tragedy! And what an accurate picture of a sinful and unbelieving world-the arena into which we as Christians are sent to bear witness of the Truth (see Mark 16:15).


Teacher Come From God

The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou are a teacher come from God; for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.   John 3:2
 
This name of Jesus was spoken by Nicodemus, a wealthy and respected Pharisee who wanted to learn more about Jesus and His teachings. He had probably heard about Jesus from others in the region of Galilee. To his credit, Nicodemus did not judge Jesus based on hearsay. He sought to talk with Him face-to-face before deciding what to make of this teacher and miracle worker from Nazareth.
 
The Gospels contain many references to Jesus’ ministry as a teacher. In this role, He communicated God’s message to individuals, such as Nicodemus, as well as to large groups of people (see Mark 4:1). He was also a patient teacher with His disciples, who were slow to understand His mission of redemptive suffering (see Luke 24:45-47).
 
Jesus was an effective Teacher Come from God because of His teachings style. He did not focus on abstract theories, but on down-to-earth truths that the common people could understand. He used familiar objects from everyday life-birds, flowers, sheep, salt, bread, water, light-to connect with the life experiences of His audience. He told stories, or parables, to illustrate divine truths He wanted the people to understand and act upon. 
 
But the most impressive thing about Jesus’ teaching is that it was stamped with the power of God the Father. Jesus did not quote learned rabbis from the past to authenticate His words, as was the custom among the religious teachers of His day. He made it clear that He spoke under direct commission from God Himself. The people were “amazed at his teaching, because his message had authority” (Luke 4:32 NIV).


Star Out Of Jacob

I Shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.  Numbers 24:17
 
This is another name assigned to the coming Messiah by Balaam, a pagan magician who blessed the Israelites. The Messiah would be a Star out of Jacob, who would rule over His people with great power and authority. 
 
The nation of Israel is sometimes referred to in the Bible as “Jacob” because it sprang from the twelve sons, or tribes, of the patriarch Jacob. A star was considered the symbol of an exceptional king. For example, Joseph had a dream in which the sun and moon and eleven stars bowed down to him. The eleven stars symbolized his brothers, who did eventually fall on their faces before him. This happened several years after this dream, when Joseph became a high official in Egypt.
 
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a bright star appeared in the eastern sky to mark the occasion. This star guided the wise men from the east to the place in Bethlehem where He was born.
 
The word star is tossed around loosely in our time. We have rock stars, movie stars, and superstars in every sport from badminton to wrestling. But the name of Jesus will live on long after all these pseudo-stars have disappeared. His eternal reign as the Star out of Jacob is assured by none other than God the Father: “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”
 
 


Spiritual Rock

All our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea…and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 1Corinthians 10:1-4
 
These verses from the apostle Paul reminded the Jewish people of their wilderness wandering years after their deliverance from slavery in Egypt. God guided them with a cloud, signifying His presence, and He gave them safe passage through the Red Sea with the Egyptian army in hot pursuit.
 
In the dry and barren wilderness, God also provided water for His people. It gushed from a rock when Moses struck it with his staff at God’s command. Paul picked up on this rock imagery and described Jesus as the Spiritual Rock who meets the needs of God’s people. Just as the rock in the desert was the source of water for the Israelites, so also Christ guides and protects those who place their trust in him.
 
Was Jesus actually present with the Israelites in the wilderness? Paul declares that Christ their Spiritual Rock “followed them.” Or was Paul speaking metaphorically? We can’t say for sure. We know that Jesus existed with God the Father from eternity, before the world was created. He came to earth in human form many centuries after the Israelites left Egypt. But He had the power to assume any form He desired at any time.
 
Maybe it’s best to leave this argument to the theologians and scholars. But one thing we can say for sure is that Jesus is a modern day Spiritual Rock, who quenches our thirst and provides strength and stability for daily living. That’s all we as Christians really need to know. 


Son Over His Own House

And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; but Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.      Hebrews 3:5-6
 
One purpose of the book of Hebrews is to show that Jesus Christ is superior to the religious laws and regulations and the sacrificial system of the Old Testament. These verses are part of an argument by the writer of the book that Jesus is superior to Moses, the great deliverer and lawgiver of God’s people in Old Testament times.
 
Moses was faithful in his house, or the household of God’s people of faith. But he was nothing more than a servant in this house. But Jesus was a Son over His Own House, or the church that He founded by His sacrificial death. Because a son who rules over a household is superior to a servant in that house, this means that Jesus is superior to Moses. 
 
These verses refer to a time in the wilderness when Moses’ brother and sister, Aaron and Miriam, questioned his leadership over the people of Israel. God put an end to their rebellion by pointing out that Moses was His true prophet, “who is faithful in all mine house”.
 
But no matter how faithful Moses had been to God, Jesus was even more so. He was God’s own Son, who gave His life to set people free from their bondage to sin. All Christians are blessed by the faithfulness that Jesus demonstrated to God’s redemptive plan. 



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