Loving Father, may I have the power to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge (Ephesians 3:18-19).
“I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also
will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I
will love them and reveal myself to them.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to
him, “Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.”
Take a moment to sit with Jesus’ disciples on this dark and confusing night. Feel what they must have felt as Jesus pulls the rug out from under them. They had, after all, left everything to follow Jesus. All of their hopes were pinned on Him. But now He tells the disciples He is leaving them. Then He says one of them will betray Him, and Peter will deny Him. Their heads must be spinning. This is not the way they thought things would go on this Passover.
Then Jesus seeks to comfort them and calm their fears: “I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you.” The Greek word translated “orphaned” means precisely “to be fatherless” Jesus wants them to know that He will not leave them without the Father. His promise encompasses His whole life mission: to take us to the Father.
After Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension, He comes to believers through the Holy Spirit to take them to the Father: “I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you.” Jesus comes from “close to the Father’s heart” (John 1:18), to take us close to the Father’s heart. That means that we stand before the Father as Jesus stands before the Father, “holy and blameless before him in love” (Ephesians 1:4). Jesus even prays that believers know that God loves them as He loves His only Son (John 17:26). He teaches His followers to pray to God as “Our Father”. And the Paraclete (Holy Spirit)living in us prompts us to boldly cry out to God “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6).
Theologian George Maloney exults in the wonder of the believer sharing in the very life of Jesus:
“The Christian shares in Christ’s own life, that life of the historical person, now gloriously resurrected. He is personally incorporated into Christ, without losing one’s own identity…By our yielding to the life-giving influence of Christ, we are gradually transformed into the image and likeness of Christ.” (George Maloney, God’s Community of Love)
The apostle John writes to early Christians about the Father’s astonishing love for us:
“See what love the Father has given us that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are… Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is” (1 John 3:1a, 2).
Take another moment now to sit with Jesus’ disciples and let Jesus’ words settle in: “I will not leave you without our Father. I am coming to you to take you to be with Him! Don’t let anything throw you. There is no need to be afraid.”
- What are my thoughts and my feelings about standing today before the Father “holy and blameless before him in love” (Ephesians 1:4)? What do I want to say about this to the Father? To Jesus?
O most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother, may I know Thee more clearly, love Thee more dearly, and follow Thee more nearly, day by day.
Richard of Chichester (1197-1253)