If you had trained a team that was heading to a storm-devastated area, you’d give them as much information as you could. You’d put them through experiences that would help them understand what they would be facing. You’d prepare their hearts for the responses of the people they were going to help. You’d explain the support they could expect from you.
And you would not be surprised when they were upset that you weren’t going to be with them. “Where are you going to be?” they’d ask. “Why can’t we go with you?”
What they don’t quite understand is that they aren’t the only team you are working with. There are going to be lots of teams, in lots of areas, working with devastated lives and broken hearts. So you do what you can do. You tell them about the assistance they will have.
“I’m sending along an Advocate. This person will represent me to you and you to me. I know that you aren’t going to remember everything I’ve said. I’ve said some of it several times and you still keep asking. You still keep acting as if you don’t understand. So this Advocate will remind you of the things I’ve been saying at just the right moment. And will teach you, just like I’ve been teaching you. In fact, whatever you hear from him, it’s coming straight from me. And when you get arrested by the local authorities because of their own selfishness, you’ll find the exact words to say coming into your thoughts and out of your mouth. And you’ll know that it’s us. The Advocate and me.”
And that’s how Jesus begins to explain the role of the Holy Spirit to his disciples as he’s giving them final instructions at their last meal.
The full story is in John 14-16. And we’re in Pentecost week.