I have been involved in talking with young students and people about my faith. When they came to know about my life story and what God has done in my life, they get inspired. I do not take credit of it as I am just a vessel, being used by the Spirit for evangelising and proselytising.
Earlier this month, at the University of Derby Christian Union, I was invited to share my testimony in front of students at freshers event – Acoustic Night. I knew that there will be some who are christians, others would be non-believers at the event. I choose to share my life story and a bit of preaching in the end. I focused on how the Holy Spirit is our best comforter and a helper.
In 2014, my life took a major turn. I was in Southampton doing my Masters of Science (MSc) studies at the University of Southampton. From faith point of view, I was very confused young man. I was identifying myself as Muslim, Agnostic and Atheist. However, faith was never my priority as I never considered it as an important thing. My weekends were usually spent at my house, browsing internet, cooking food and listening music. However, I never expected that the weekend will be not same anymore on that day. I received a call on Skype from my father to give me Eid Greetings. It is a holy day for Muslims and very special to them. We talked for an hour, greeting each other and sharing about our day. We ended the call on jokes and laughs. After around two hours, our very close friend, an uncle called me on my mobile. He gave me Eid Greetings and then said; “son, never think you are alone or orphan”. I got confused and asked him, what you mean uncle? He replied, “son a few minutes ago, your dad passed away… we tried our best, but we could not save him!“. It was that moment, I realised what it means to be alone, why we need a friend or a helper, who could give us some comfort.
Fred Rogers, once wrote in his book a very interesting quote.
When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers-so many caring people in this world.
Fred Rogers, The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember
We all have experienced something like this, or we know someone we comforted. When we are in this moment of grief or tough time, all we need is a few words filled with love, compassion, and comfort. We need a friend who could help us. I had lots of questions when my father passed away: Where is he now? What happens when we die? What is my purpose? Is there something more to life?
On the night before His departure, Jesus comforted His disciples – who were terrified about His departure – with these words:
He Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you.– John 14:26 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Jesus didn’t speak these words only to comfort the Twelve who had been with Him. He spoke these words to encourage us as well as we face the stern realities of this life. He knows we need help. Who can give us better help than the creator itself – The King of Kings. This is a wonderful promise for the children of God.
While talking to Muslims and evangelising to them, they use this verse to point towards Muhammad (prophet of Islam). However, as Christians we do not agree with this reference. We respect all people, however, we do not consider Muhammad as a prophet of God. The Bible clearly states that the Comforter is the Holy Spirit. There is no ambiguity about this. Consequently, Muhammad is not the Comforter based upon what the Bible explicitly states. If we are going to understand any passage of Scripture we must understand its context. When Jesus spoke these words in John it was His last ministerial time with His disciples prior to His death, crucifixion, and resurrection. Jesus is being very intimate with them. Understand then, when he speaks to them He is including them – these very disciples, specifically. These are the men He knew best and loved; they were His friends. These were His final words to them, and He wanted them to know what was in store.
If we read the earlier verses 16 and 17, we get a better understanding on the topic. In verses 16 it says, The Comforter will be with these disciples forever. Jesus promised the Comforter would be with these disciples forever. Muhammad could not be the Comforter because he wasn’t born until over 500 years later – following the deaths of these disciples. He was born around 570 and died around 632 AD.
In verse 17, The Comforter lives with the disciples already now and will later be ‘in’ them. The Holy Spirit came to the disciples and indwelt them. Muhammad could not be the Comforter because first he wasn’t around at the time when Jesus was speaking to his disciples nor second could he ever be in any of the disciples. The Greek word is ‘en’, and it means ‘right inside’. Jesus is saying that the Comforter will be ‘right inside’ of the disciples.
I pray in the end that we all encounter the Holy Spirit in our lives and may we know the true path, in Jesus name. Amen !