Saturday, 6 March 2010

He came to do his Father's will

In teaching John's gospel at Bible college, one of the explicit ever-present themes is the unity of Father and Son. Jesus again and again insists that his words are those of the Father, that he perfectly does his Father's will, that he and the Father are one in their purpose, that to know him is to know the Father, etc., etc.

One thing I am more appreciating is how this theme is ever-present in the other gospels too. It may not always be explicit, but it is there. Consider the passage I am preaching on tomorrow (God-willing), Mark 8:31-38. In context, Peter has just confessed Jesus as the Messiah, the Christ - and now Jesus reveals just what his Messiahship will look like:
31 And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

34 And he called to him the crowd with his disciples and said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? 37 For what can a man give in return for his life? 38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (ESV)
Jesus is going to suffer and die - but why? Because, verse 33, he has set his mind on the things of God. He is doing his Father's will, not that of (carnal) man.

Jesus is also going to come in judgment, with the holy angels. But what glory will he come in? His Father's - having completed his Father's commission, he receives his Father's reward. And who can judge except God alone? Yet Jesus does it - not simply because he is God, but because he is the Son who is always sent by the Father's authority to do the work which the Father has to do; whether creation, redemption or final judgment. To love one is to love the other; to dishonour one reveals - whether a person admits it or not - the true thoughts of heart towards both.

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