Can somebody explain, who is the comforter?

John 16:12-13

12I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13"But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come

But in

John 16:7

"Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you."

Jesus say that if I go then the comforter will come but the Holy Spirit was already there with Jesus, so how come the comforter is Holy Spirit?

  • It seems to me that the quote answers the question. May 22, 2014 at 9:07
  • Perhaps you would like to edit your question so that all of it is coherently in one place? [Note also Acts 2:1-4] May 22, 2014 at 9:23
  • Ok I have put that into the question but didn't get any answer? May 22, 2014 at 9:26
  • Is your question only for people that believe that 'the Holy Spirit was already there with Jesus' or can one argue against that and present a more elegant solution than the double-speak that always arise around the Trinity? May 22, 2014 at 16:12
  • My question is for everyone and is open to anyone to answer May 23, 2014 at 8:28

3 Answers 3


The comforter is the Holy Spirit according to John 14:26

But the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Q: "Jesus say that if I go then the comforter will come but the Holy Spirit was already there with Jesus, so how come the comforter is Holy Spirit?"

We know that Jesus was baptised in the Holy Spirit from John 3:16. But, where Jesus goes, the Holy Spirit goes with him.

Jesus said in John 16:7

"Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you."

The key words here are "come unto".

  • Come - erchomai (meaning from one place to another, to go, to follow one)
  • Unto - pros (meaning to the advantage of, at, near, by, towards)

So essentially it means, this. That the Holy Spirit is with Jesus, but when he assends to the father (after his death and resurrection) he will send the Holy Spirit to be with all believers. Or to follow all believers.

1 Cor 6:19 - 19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

Still not convinced that the Comforter is the Holy Spirit?

John 14:17 - "Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but you know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you."

The only one we're told that would dwell IN us is The Holy Spirit. The context of the entire passage is talking about the Holy Spirit. The Comforter IS the Holy Spirit. There is none other. The comforter and Jesus are very much the same character. Jesus said many times if you know me, you know my father also. The Holy Spirit exhibits the same character. If you know Jesus you know the Holy Spirit also. Do you know him?

  • The original word in the Greek bible for "Comforter" is Periclytos. In the Gospel of John 14:16, 15:26, and 16:7. The word 'Comforter' is used in the English translation for the Greek word Paracletos which means advocate or a kind friend rather than a comforter. Paracletos is the warped reading for Periclytos. May 23, 2014 at 8:25
  • The Bible states that the Holy Spirit was already present on earth before and during the time of Jesus (pbuh), in the womb of Elizabeth, and again when Jesus (pbuh) was being baptised, etc May 23, 2014 at 8:27
  • If you're still not convinced and don't want to believe me, ask the Holy Spirit. He is the teacher.
    – hookenz
    May 25, 2014 at 20:59
  • 1
    The Holy Spirit was around, but he didn't live inside believers until pentecost. If Jesus lived next door, and the Holy Spirit down the street, then Jesus' promise was that when Jesus moved away he would sent the Holy Spirit to live in your own house.
    – curiousdannii
    May 25, 2014 at 22:14

The "comforter" is the Holy Spirit, also known as the "Advocate." While it can be said that the Holy Spirit was with Christ, it is important to also see the Holy Spirit as the third person of the Trinity. As such, the importance of what Christ says here is that once Christ ascends, the Holy Spirit will descend UPON ALL.

So while Jesus walked the hillsides and preached the Good News and healed, it was going to be through the Holy Spirit that WE ALL will take on the role modeled by Christ.

Think of the crippled man who needed his friends to lower him through the roof on his mat to get to Jesus for healing. He needed that more direct contact; but once the Holy Spirit descended for all, the gifts of Christ are there for us even if Christ isn't present in person--and even if we struggle to claim them fully.

  • That is fine. As u mentioned, let us consider the Holy Spirit as the third person of the Trinity but Jesus said "for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you". So does it means then the Trinity wasn't there when Jesus was there? If it was then why Jesus said that I will send the Comforter unto you, when I depart? May 22, 2014 at 9:38
  • 1
    The first two sentences here are fine, after that most of this answer drags the post down. For one thing it wanders a bit from the issue of "who" into the area of "gifts of the spirit" for which there is no agreement or even common language for between different Christian groups. Also the post bites off more than it chews by emphasizing "all" without dealing with the role of The comforter / Holy Spirit for non-Christians.
    – Caleb
    May 22, 2014 at 9:51
  • @ThinkDifferent The Holy Spirit descended upon Christ at his baptism in the Jordan River so was with him. Unraveling the Trinity isn't something that can be easily done but maybe here it would be good to imagine that while the Holy Spirit was with Christ, once Christ ascended, he made the gracious effort to send the Holy Spirit so that we could continue the ministry that Jesus started. May 22, 2014 at 13:42
  • @Caleb It seems to me that the Holy Spirit is able to be available and at the ready for every person--believers and unbelievers alike. Those who have come to Christ, those who have found other faiths, and those who deny God. It isn't for us to identify the role of the Holy Spirit for non-Christians but to understand that the Holy Spirit is at the ready and our role may simply be to plant the seeds so that the real work by the Holy Spirit can be done. Gifts are gifts, regardless of our acceptance of them, acknowledgement of them, or the language with which to identify them. May 22, 2014 at 13:47

The Holy Spirit was present in Jesus yes but it was not present in man yet. Jesus had to be resurrected and return to glory before man could have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. The disciples were all "baptized in the Holy Spirit" there in the upper room after Jesus had already ascended. That's what Jesus was saying there in the verses you quoted.

  • Ok if Holy Spirit was present in Jesus then how would you explian Luke 24:36-43 36 While they were telling these things, He Himself stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be to you.” 37 But they were startled and frightened and thought that they were seeing a spirit. 38 And He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 “See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”... May 22, 2014 at 11:38
  • He had already been resurrected at that point. He wasn't bound in earthly flesh. Having all power and glory again.
    – Tyler
    May 22, 2014 at 12:26
  • So by this answer I assume that there was no Trinity before Jesus resurrection. As the Holy Spirit was in Jesus and after resurrection Jesus got earthly flesh body? And then after this we have the Trinity? And one more question. If Jesus didn't have earthly flesh body before Crucifixion, How were they able to crucify him? May 22, 2014 at 12:43
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    @ThinkDifferent comforter will come to the disciples not to Jesus. See it like this. comforter is with Jesus, with comforter (aka Holy Spirit) Jesus goes to heaven and then from there Jesus sends comforter to disciples. May 22, 2014 at 13:26
  • 1
    To @ThinkDifferent : This speech happens b4 Jesus was crucified. There is no need or use for the HS in that time. If Jesus did not go (ie., die, resurrect and ascend) there will b of no use for Holy Spirit. Bcos the death and resurrection is the main purpose for the promise of the Comforter. Holy Spirit is going to Comfort them in their evangelization work. Since Jesus is with them he can comfort them if needed. May 22, 2014 at 13:42

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