34. The Father’s Love

Short Meditations in John 3:  34. The Father’s Love

Jn 3:35    The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands.

The subject of Father and Son comes up a number of times in this Gospel. This verse obviously follows on from the previous one. Jesus speaks the Father’s words, the Son has come from heaven where he had dwelt in eternity with the Father and within that relationship, in respect of the kingdom, the Father has placed all authority on earth in the hands of the Son. The following verse shows us that He has also made him the focus and means of all salvation, the way of receiving eternal life.

In chapter 5 we are shown Jesus’ closeness to the Father: Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.” For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.  Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does.” (Jn 5:17-20) Such closeness riled the religious Jews for it was clear that he was equating himself with the Father, God. That unity was in the work that Father and Son did.

A few verses on Jesus pushes the point even more: “Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him,”(Jn 5:22,23) and then a few verses on adds, “And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.” (Jn 5:27) Unity, honour, respect and authority are the same for both Father and Son according to Jesus. It is a powerful claim!

In response to the grumbling Jews, Jesus declared, “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: `They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father.” (Jn 6:43-46) Again this closeness, harmony and unity between Father and Son is displayed.

We find more of this sort of declaration from Jesus about the Father in 8:16-18, 27-29,38, 54, 10:14-18,29,30,37,38, 12:26-28,49, 13:1,3, 14:6-13, 28-31, 15:15,16, 16:26-28,32, 20:17.  Without doubt this Gospel is the Gospel of the Father and Son relationship.

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