Jesus is speaking here of His imminent departure from the world. He is telling His disciples that He is soon to be sacrificed and will leave this world.
In these words He gives us a few interesting teachings including a revelation about the love of the Father. But before we look at that, Jesus also spoke in this section about why he taught the people in figures and parables. So let us consider that first as a lead in to the love of the Father.
Figures and Parables
First up Jesus says to the disciples in verse 25,
“I have said this to you in figures; the hour is coming when I shall no longer speak to you in figures but tell you plainly of the Father.”
When Jesus taught the people He often used parables and figures of speech to teach the message. This was a two-edged sword.
For those who were seeking the kingdom of God truly, the figures and parables were opened up and they understood the underlying message. The parables and figures of speech had meanings deeper than the mere words or stories themself.
But to those who were not seeking the truth of Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God, these messages were hidden and were not perceived and the story was just a story. Jesus explained all of this in some detail with the disciples in Matthew 13:10-16 when they asked Him why He taught the people using parables.
10 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?”
11 And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.
12 For to him who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
14 With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah which says: ‘You shall indeed hear but never understand, and you shall indeed see but never perceive.
15 For this people’s heart has grown dull, and their ears are heavy of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should perceive with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and turn for me to heal them.’
16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.
As you can see, parables were a mechanism to teach so that those who would seek would understand, and those who were not seeking would never see the truth. The words and the teachings Jesus brought to the world are not of this world but are teachings of the Spirit. And this is the key reason why He left and sent us the Holy Spirit; to teach and guide us so that we could understand and discern the words of the truth of God. As it says earlier in John 16:12-13,
12 “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
The Holy Spirit guides the heart and the mind of man so that we can understand the teachings of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit shows us the way to Jesus and through Jesus we find the truth about the love of the Father.
The Love of the Father
God the Father loves Jesus for the sacrifice He made and also for the obedience He showed to the will of the Father. The Father sent Jesus into the world so that man would have an avenue of escape from the bondage of sin and death that man is under.
This escape comes through one thing only: the Grace of God the Father. Jesus is the way by which we receive the grace of God and He is the door through which we enter God’s kingdom of life and leave this worldly kingdom of sin and death, but none of this would have been possible without the Grace of God.
What is the Grace of God? The best description I have ever heard is that grace is, “…the undeserved favour and kindness of God.” God, through Jesus, gave man a chance to be redeemed from sin, not through anything man has or could have done, but because God the Father chose to give us this chance.
And underlying the Grace of God we find a foundation of love. The Grace of God is founded on God’s love for His creation and His desire to see people turn to Him and seek Him out and His ways.
Should we expect it to be any different than this? After all we know from the words of the apostle John that, “God is love.” As he said in 1 John 4:16,
“So we know and believe the love God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
And then too we see just how much the Father loves us in the words of Jesus back in John 16:26-27 where He said,
26 In that day you will ask in my name; and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you;
27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from the Father.
The Father loves His children and wants the best for them. Who are His children? Those who believe in Jesus, love the Lord and come to Him through faith in Jesus Christ. These are the children of God and are loved by both the Father and the Son.
Ask in Jesus Name
And when we come to God in faith, He listens to our prayers and our requests that we ask in the name of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the intercessor between man and God in relation to the overcoming of sin for He was the sacrifice. But here we see that the Father loves those who love the Son and believe in Him and so the Father listens to our prayers directly with no intermediary in between.
This is an amazing thing when you stop to think about it, and so different from the ways of this world. Senior managers in business and the high up politicians of this world often have layers of people under them as buffers so that the truth of situations are filtered. They often do not get the full story because others decide what is palatable and even what they want them to hear or not hear.
This is not the way of God for we see in John 16:26-27 that when we ask anything of God in Jesus name, the Father hears us directly, warts and all…and He listens to our requests. No intermediaries, no filters or buffers, but our words go directly to His ears…and He listens.
Let me say this plainly…you have the ear of God the Father when you ask in the name of Jesus.
So let us remember this and speak accordingly. Consider your words carefully and make your requests to God in the name of Jesus. And finally know that when you do this in the will of God, have the faith to know that you will receive your requests.
(Photo sourced from “www.sxc.hu/” stock.xchng taken by Mario Alberto Magallanes Trejo)
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