series: Letters of Love
title: Jesus is our advocate
date: April 22, 2018
teacher: Jacob Bender
scriptures: 1 John 2:1-6, Zechariah 3:1-10, John 14:6, John 13:34, Matthew 22:36-40.
Advocate is the Greek word: paraklētos - and it means “called to one’s side” - so in its most basic sense, it is coming alongside someone and doing everything that you possibly can to make sure they know that they are not alone. Its where the word “paramedic” comes from, someone who comes running to help when you are at your most desperate hour. When you have to call the ambulance… the person who comes in and does EVERYTHING HE CAN POSSIBLY DO FOR YOU on the spot, then takes care of you AS he takes you to the hospital.
The church needs to keep growing in this! I think sometimes we do a really great job, but we need to live the lifestyle of advocates, people who don’t let others face things alone. People who, the moment someone has a baby, we have a list of people lined up ready to bring them meals, and offer them relief. When someone is going through something that we have no way of possibly understanding, We still stand next to them, by their side. We scramble to figure out how to help them.
It takes everyone, and we need to determine “I don’t care who you are, I don’t care where you live, I don’t care how long it takes me to get there, I am called to your side.” An advocate is not JUST someone who will pick up a cause or stand on a platform and be a voice for someone, they are actually willing to come to that persons side… its an arm-in-arm type of thing… what happens to one, happens to us both. They are willing to get dirty.
In a world that is obviously very divided, we need more advocates.
But there was also a legal sense to the word paraklētos -
it was: one who pleads another's cause before a judge
So it is really the same concept, but in a courtroom.
The Rabbi's would often use the word paraklētos, or advocate, as a word that would often be used opposite of the word “accuser” - which we know is the definition of Satan. The accuser. So, just like we talked about last week, John here is continuing this thought process about the tension that exists between good and evil, the light and the darkness. But the power distinction between light and darkness is not even comparable. Darkness has an infinite power over everything except for light… but it is INFINITELY POWERLESS AGAINST LIGHT. There is nothing darkness can do in the presence of light.
it instantly becomes non-existent.
and so we are given this sort of “court room setting” in which we know that we are guilty because we have sinned, but we go confidently knowing that we have an advocate who we can have confidence in.
People love to say things like “when I stand before God and plead my case… That is kind of what everyone expects on that final day… a chance when we can show God why we are good to go. But if you are standing before God guilty, you have no case.
A case will do no good. The only thing that will do any good is an advocate.
You see, it is on our WORST DAY that Christ died for us! But the Bible says that in Isaiah that even on our best day, OUR VERSION OF RIGHTEOUSNESS is as filthy rags to God. So we can go in with this amazing case for all the good we did, and all God is going to be able to say is: