How much does the Father love us?
“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
(John 17:22-23 NIV)
The Bible makes it clear that God the Father both loves and takes pleasure in the Son. Following the baptism of Jesus Christ we read that: ‘…a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” ’ (Matthew 3:17). And during what has been called the transfiguration: ‘…a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” ’ (Matthew 17:5).
Jesus himself spoke of the Father’s love for him: ‘The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands.’ (John 3:35). Now here’s my question: if the Father asked you who is the one that he loves the most, his Son Jesus or you, how would you answer?
Naturally you might feel that the answer to that question is so obvious that you don’t even need to ask it – it must be Jesus! After all, Jesus is perfect and has never sinned, unlike us. Jesus is perfect in his love, kindness and goodness, unlike us. Added to this is the fact that the Father and the Son have been together in a loving relationship from eternity past, and have created everything together. It surely goes without saying that the Father loves Jesus more than you or me, doesn’t it?
But what if the love that our Father has for Jesus is the same love he has for us? Could that be possible: does he love us and Jesus equally? In his prayer in the garden shortly before his arrest Jesus said, ‘…Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.’ (John 17:23).
How is it possible that the Father could love us as he loved Jesus, after all what have we done to merit such favour? Herein lies the issue – it is not about what you or I have done. It’s all about what Jesus has done for us in his vicarious life, death, resurrection and ascension. When we put our trust in Jesus, the glory of God is given to us by grace, as a gift (John 17:22).
Jesus becomes our new identity. Just as he is the Father’s beloved Son forever, we are the Father’s beloved children forever! That’s how much the Father loves us.
Father, thank you for your indescribable love for us in Christ, in which we can rest secure. Amen.
Study by Barry Robinson
About the writer:
Barry Robinson is a Minister in Grace Communion International and is Regional Pastor for Southern England.
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