The Holy Spirit has been described as ”the uncomfortable comforter”. In the Bayeux Tapestry, there is a caption which reads ”Bishop Odin comforteth his troops.” What the Bishop is actually doing is prodding his soldiers with his sword, and urging them back into the fight. Someone pointed out that at the heart of our word ”comforter” there is the word ”fort”. He said, ”The Holy Spirit comes to turn you into a fortress for the day of battle. The comfort is much more than, ”There, there now.”
Jesus was about to leave His disciples. He had only recently informed them about His imminent departure. He was everything to them, and if they felt like they were about to be orphaned, you could understand it (18). So Jesus assured them that whilst going away, He would nevertheless ”come” (18) to them in the Person of the Holy Spirit. This section points to a new relationship with the Spirit for the disciples (17b).
The Holy Spirit is spoken of by Jesus (in the Greek language) as ”allos parakletos” (”another advocate” or ”another comforter”). I understand that in Greek there are two words for ”another”. One means ”another who is different”, but ”allos” means ”another who is similar”. Everything Jesus had been to His disciples, that the Holy Spirit would be to them. They would not feel orphaned at all.
In the Holy Spirit; through His ministry, we ”see” Jesus (19) and know the reality of His presence within us, and in the midst of the church community. Someone pointed out that if Jesus were still on earth bodily, you might be able to book Him to speak at your church once in your lifetime. And that is ‘might’. But because He is now here in the Holy Spirit, you can have Him with you at every single meeting. What a privilege.