Jesus said to his disciples: “When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me. And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.
“I have told you this so that you may not fall away. They will expel you from the synagogues; in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God. They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me. I have told you this so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you.”- John 15:26-16:4A
We all need a helper. From the beginning of creation God said that it was not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). In today’s passage from the Gospel of John Jesus is telling the disciples that the world will hate them because they (the world) hated Christ. Sometimes we tend to forget that the disciples were Jews, and because they followed and proclaimed Christ they were excommunicated from the fellowship of Israel. They were not able to go into the synagogue and worship as they had always done. This was serious business, and it becomes even more serious when one looks at the Rabbinic interpretation of Numbers 25:1-13 in the Talmud. The rabbinic tradition says that apostates were to be killed as a sacrifice to God. Yikes!
What does all this have to do with us today? Just like the disciples we are in need of a helper. Christ has not left us as orphans, but loves and cares for us. The Holy Spirit was sent from the Father and the Son to be of advocate and comforter. Just as with the disciples the Holy Spirit will give us courage to live in a world that has a growing hatred for Christ and his followers.
Maybe you are experiencing this right now? Maybe a close friend or family member has turned their back on you because of your faith. Take heart and have faith. Christ is with us until the end of the age. The Holy Spirit will help us testify to the person of Christ, and stand up for what is right. Go forth today in the peace of Christ, and ask the Holy Spirit to guide your steps.