Loving Father, may I have the power to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge (Ephesians 3:18-19).
“I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is
coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures, but will tell
you plainly of the Father. On that day you will ask in my name. I do
not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that
I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and am going to the Father.”
Fast-forward for a moment to that first Easter dawn. Mary Magdalene goes to Jesus’ tomb to finish preparation of His body for burial. Instead, Mary finds the tomb empty and turns to hear Jesus’ say, “Go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father’” (John 20:17b). With those astonishing words Jesus declares His mission completed. Through the sacrifice of Himself on the cross and His resurrection Jesus made “my Father…your Father”. And Jesus wants disciples who had deserted Him to be the first to hear He has brought them to the Father. He came from close to the Father’s heart (John 1:18) and has brought us close to the Father’s heart. Through Jesus Christ, His Father is now our Father abiding in us (John 14:20, 23). There is no separation!
In today’s scripture, in the Upper Room, Jesus is preparing His disciples for the new life of oneness with the Father. He says that believers are empowered to go directly to the Father because of what Jesus has done for them: “I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father himself loves you.” Jesus “tells them that his work is done. He came from the Father, and now, by way of the Cross, he goes back. And for every man the way is open to God. He does not need to take their prayers to God; they can take their own.” (William Barclay, Daily Study Bible) They will be one with Jesus, asking the Father directly in Jesus’ name.
Jesus does not deny that He will be interceding for His own (Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1), but wants them to know that they have His intimate and direct relationship with the Father. John Calvin says Jesus means “that the Father will be so favorably disposed towards the disciples, that without any difficulty, he will give freely whatever they shall ask.” (John Calvin, Commentary on John) Because of what Jesus has done for us we go before God without fear, without hesitation, or feeling of guilt: “for the Father himself loves you.” We boldly cry out to Him, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6).
The risen Jesus wanted Peter and all those who had fled Him to know this! And He wants you to know it too! “I am ascending to my Father and your Father.” Jesus wants the whole world to know it!
- What does it mean for me to go boldly to the Father right now?
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)