“The world cannot accept [the Spirit], because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”

John 14:17

My father would sow beans in our garden and then construct a framework of beanpoles so that the seedlings would cling to the poles as they grew. This prevented them from dragging on the ground where they would rot.

Keep that image of a beanpole in your mind. One Bible commentator explained that a connotation of the Greek word paracletos which we translate as Advocate or Counselor, is “beanpole.” The Spirit gives us backbone just as the beanpole supports the beans.

Another translation of paracletos is Comforter, though its context is different than what you and I are familiar with. It is more like the Bayeux tapestry I saw in a museum in Normandy. Woven to celebrate the Norman conquest of England in 1066, it depicts a scene captioned “Bishop Odo comforts his troops,” where he is prodding his soldiers from behind with a spear!

So as Christians indwelt by the Holy Spirit, we have this new backbone, this new Encourager who will not allow us to decline or lose courage. He means business and stiffens us for the task ahead.




Scripture Focus

John 14:1-27

Insight

Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a sense of boldness for whatever lies ahead for you today.

Bible In A Year

  • Genesis 37-38
  • Psalm 19
  • Matthew 27