|Topical Bible Study||April 1961|
The Son of God Series—Lesson V
Jesus, Our Advocate
THE title, Advocate, as used in the Scriptures, is a translation of a Greek word meaning “intercessor, consoler.”* Jesus is the Intercessor on behalf of consecrated believers at the throne of heavenly grace. (I John 2:1) It is particularly fitting to think of Jesus in this connection also as a consoler. Surely it is a great consolation to realize that despite our inherited sins we are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
* Prof. Strong’s “Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible,” with the Hebrew and Greek defined.
As dedicated followers of the Master, we are in heart harmony with our Heavenly Father; but Satan, our great Adversary, is ever alert to call attention to our imperfections, and to have us believe that these hinder our acceptance by God. Our fleshly minds are also prone to reason along this line, so it is important to remember the good offices of Jesus, our Advocate, and to realize that through him, and through the merit of his blood, our justification before our Heavenly Father is assured, and that we can continue to enjoy his favor.—Rom. 8:34
Jesus, at his birth, did not inherit adamic imperfections, but he was subjected to the temptations of Satan and the world even as we are, and is thus presented to us in the Scriptures as an understanding and sympathetic High Priest who “ever liveth” to make intercession for us. Thus we can at all times go to the Heavenly Father in prayer with the assurance of being heard and blessed.—Heb. 4:15,16; 7:25
We are not to think of our Heavenly Father as austere and unsympathetic. Actually it was his love which provided for Jesus to be our Advocate. The Scriptures speak of Jehovah as a comforter, or consoler of his people. (II Cor. 1:3,4) This was true of the faithful of natural Israel, even as it is true of faithful spiritual Israelites of the present age.—Isa. 51:12
During the Gospel Age, Jehovah, our loving Heavenly Father, deals with his people through Jesus, whose blood satisfies the demands of his justice. Jesus, in turn, explained to his disciples that instead of remaining personally present with them he would go away, and that he would send the Holy Spirit to be their comforter, their consoler.—John 14:26; 16:7
It is in connection with the sending of the Holy Spirit that the Scriptures present Jesus both as an intercessor, or Advocate, and as a comforter, for it was necessary for him to appear in the presence of God for us in order for the Holy Spirit to be sent. (Acts 2:17,18) Jesus continues to appear in the presence of God for his people, and thus they are assured of a continual flow of heavenly blessings.—Heb. 9:24
The relationship we enjoy with our Heavenly Father is a very precious one indeed. All the rich blessings which God has promised to his people of the Gospel Age are assured to us if we ask for them in the name of Jesus, our Advocate. (Eph. 2:18; John 15:7) If we are abiding in Christ, and his words are abiding in us, we will ask only for the blessings which we know are in harmony with God’s will.
As followers of the Master it is important to know what he means to us as our Advocate with the Heavenly Father. How many of these questions can you answer?
What is the meaning of the title “Advocate” as used in the Bible?
Does our need of an Advocate before God imply that we are opposed to the divine will?
What influences tend to discourage disciples of Christ?
How may we know that Jesus, as our Advocate, is understanding and sympathetic?
Is our Heavenly Father unsympathetic and without understanding of our imperfections?
Explain one of the important ways in which Jesus provided for the spiritual comfort of his disciples.
What was necessary for Jesus to do before the Holy Spirit could be sent as a comforter?
Explain the conditions upon which our prayers will be heard and favorably answered.
“The New Creation,” pages 183-185.
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANT THOUGHTS
It is by the Heavenly Father’s loving arrangement that Jesus serves as our Advocate, our Intercessor. Our Father and Jesus are both understanding and sympathetic.