In John 14:15-31, Jesus gives the disciples the promise of the Father sending the Holy Spirit after he left. In verse 16-17, he promises:
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
Another Helper? That’s an interesting way to describe the Holy Spirit. What does it mean? Often in the Bible it behooves us to reference the original languages rather than simply relying on our native translations (English or otherwise). The word used for another is a form of the Greek word allos which more explicitly means “another of the same kind.” Now that we have a slightly more informative descriptor, what does it mean to be another of the same kind?
In one aspect, Jesus was definitely referring to his divine personhood. In fact, in verse 16, we see Jesus refer to all 3 persons of the Trinity: himself as “I,” the Father, and the “Helper,” which we also know as the Holy Spirit. Jesus in this sentence affirmed that he and the Holy Spirit were of the “same kind,” and has more than once referred to himself and the Father as “one.” So we see that Jesus affirms the Holy Spirit as one with the Father just as he is one with the Father.
Next, the Holy Spirit and Jesus are of the “same kind,” in how they interact with people in their presence. Just as Jesus healed the sick and unpacked the hidden truths of God’s word to those around him among many other miracles, so too does the Holy Spirit teach us and through us heal. As a person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit has the same power in him that raised Christ from the dead. This is good news! While we could never do the amazing work of redemption that Jesus did, we can through the Holy Spirit see God’s power transform the world around us through the proclamation of the gospel and obedience to his commands.
Finally, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are both of the same kind in that they are both God’s presence among mankind. Jesus, as an incarnated man, was present in one place at one time and interacted with those around him. However, the Holy Spirit (along with the rest of the Godhead) is omnipresent, and interacts and intervenes in our lives on a daily basis.
So why is it good news that the Holy Spirit and Jesus are of the same kind? Well, it’s easy to assume that the apostles had some advantage of being able to walk with Jesus and talk with him daily. While their relationship with Christ was different, we now have access to the Holy Spirit, who lives with us and imparts wisdom to us and through us does many wonderful things. Even more so, while Jesus and his sacrifice justified us before the Father, through the work of the Holy Spirit we get to participate in the wonderful process of sanctification - becoming more holy and set apart for God’s purpose.