Posted on Mar 10, 2017 | 0 comments

A great message by Skip Moen – if you enjoy his teachings, please make sure to join us in August where he will be speaking in Kansas City, MO!

 

Going and Coming
by Skip Moen, D. Phil.

I will ask the Father, and he will give you another helper who will be with you forever. John 14:16 NASB

Another helper – We all know this Greek word, Paraklete, “the Helper.” Growing up in the Western Church, we were told that this is a circumlocution for the Holy Spirit. This verse in John is typically used to establish the person of the Holy Spirit, the “other” helper who will come after Yeshua leaves. Sure enough, the Greek text reads allos parakleton, an accusative, singular, masculine noun. This construction indicates that the

Paraklete is the direct object of the Father’s action. “He will give another helper.”

Now let’s put this into Jewish/Hebraic thought. The “spirit” is the personal power of the presence of YHVH or His Messiah. There is no person called the Holy Spirit. In fact, until about 380 CE, there wasn’t even any official doctrine about the “Spirit” in Christianity. In Jewish thinking, the “spirit” is the expression of God’s action among men, whether it is found in Genesis 1:2, at Sinai, in the words of the prophets or in the life of the Messiah. It is God personally displayed.[1]

Given this Jewish idea, I want to point out an interesting connection. Yeshua tells us that the role of this personal presence of YHVH is to “convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8), to provide encouragement (John 14:18)[2] and to testify of the Messiah (John 15:26). We might summarize these functions as offering truthful criticism and conviction, providing nourishing support and witnessing to God’s great gift in the Messiah. Here’s the interesting connection. This is essentially the role of the ‘ezer kenegdo, the woman of Genesis 2. She is to offer truthful criticism to her husband in order that he maintains a life of righteousness. She is to judge his intentions and actions in light of God’s goodness. She is to provide nourishment, encouragement and support when he is in alignment with God’s purposes. And she is to be the embodiment of God’s offer of forgiveness. Maimonides points out that the unusual preposition kenegdo entails the action of both coming and going. It means to draw toward when the husband is following YHVH, and to pull away when he is not. Could it be that Yeshua’s departure is also one side of the mystery of the ‘ezer kenegdo while the Paraklete is the other? “Going and coming” seem to be a pattern in God’s interactions with men. Maybe one of these patterns is the going to the Messiah because of the evil of this age and the coming of God’s presence to bring about the ‘olam ha’ba.

Of course, this is probably a stretch. It’s probably more than the text will support. But we do know that YHVH deliberately designed the ‘ezer kenegdo after His own character and we know what she is supposed to do. Why wouldn’t the Messiah’s role also include these intentions?

Topical Index: Paraklete, ‘ezer kenegdo, John 14:16

[1] For the Christian position concerning the “person” of the Spirit in this verse, you might look at http://irr.org/part-three-holy-spirit-paraclete-in-john

[2] Notice that it is YHVH who is the author of comfort according to Paul (2 Corinthians 1:4)

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