“My Father!” From the lips of our Lord Jesus Christ those two precious words often fell. Their full meaning we may not yet have grasped, but the Spirit is here to lead us into all truth. It is plainly evident that Jesus must have been speaking as a Man when He said, “MY Father is greater than I” This therefore explains to us how He stood in relation to His Father as “the Son of the Father,” for when He spake of Himself as the Son, one with the Father, He did not then say “My Father,” but speaking as God the Son He told those who listened to His words, “I and THE Father are one” (N.Tr.). There is therefore no contradiction between John 14:28 and 10:30, but each Scripture glows with divine beauty, one revealing Him to us as Man and the other as God, the first in His obedient place as the Son of the Father, the second in His equality as the Son with the Father.
Often in the epistles we read of “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,” and the Lord said when on earth, “My Father is greater than all.” He also spake of His Father’s glory, of His throne, and of His holy angels. When He spoke of the sheep which His Father had given to Him—those to whom He Himself gave eternal life—in His own hand and in His Father’s hand He said they were safe, yea, doubly secure for ever; but not only have we been given to the Son of the Father, for He also said, “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father.” we learn therefore something of His Father’s greatness thus made known, and of the relationship of Jesus to Him as His well-loved Son, we shall enter with greater appreciation into that burst of praise which comes from the hearts of His own at the beginning of the book of Revelation, and with elevated grace and spiritual intelligence exclaim—“Unto Him who loves us, and has washed us from our sins in His blood, and made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father: to Him be the glory and the might to the ages of ages. Amen.”
When He was going to the cross to shed His precious blood for us, and to lay down His life for the glory of God, He spake of the commandment which He had received of His Father. At all cost to Himself it should be carried out. Satan might tempt Him, the power of darkness might rise against Him, but He would not swerve from the path of obedience nor turn away back. No flaw should be found in Him, and He Himself said, “The Ruler of the world comes and in Me he has nothing” (N.Tr.). In devoted love to the Father He went onward, not like men who zealously espouse a cause not knowing where and how the matter will end for them, but, having received a definite commandment, He, blessed be His holy Name, obediently went on to fulfil it, knowing all that awaited Him; so He could say—“That the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father has commanded Me, thus I do. Arise, let us go hence.”
At the age of twelve He said to His earthly parents, “Wist ye not that I must be about My Father’s business.” Later, He said to the Jews who sought to slay Him, “My Father worketh hitherto and I work.” Again, to His loved disciples, “I must work the works of Him that sent Me while it is day: the night comes when no man can work.” In John 17 He spake to the Father of the work which He had given Him to do (v. 4). All was done by Him in obedience and love. Nothing could turn Him aside. No trial, however great, could soil His faithfulness. No sorrow, however deep, could mar the perfection of His love to the Father. “I love the Father,” He said, and went forward to fulfil His commandment.
“Faithful amidst unfaithfulness,
’Mid darkness only light,
Thou did’st Thy Father’s Name confess
And in His will delight;
Unmoved by Satan’s subtle wiles
Or suffering, shame and loss,
Thy path uncheered by earthly smiles
Led only to the Cross.”
When the rough band, with officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came with lanterns and torches and weapons—led by Judas, the betrayer—to take Him, they were momentarily overcome as they felt themselves in the presence of the I AM, for when “He said to them, I AM (He), they went away backward and fell to the ground.” GOD THE SON stood there before them. When, however, He had again spoken to them, and allowed the captain to take Him, Peter with a sword smote the servant of the high priest. Then Jesus healed him, and told Peter to sheath the sword, saying, “The cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?” Nothing could divert Thee, blessed Lord! Supreme in Thy personal greatness and majesty! Wonderful in Thy grace and humility! Thou didst press onward to accomplish Thy Father’s will.
I lay down My life of Myself, He said. Man’s guilt was none the less. As far as they were concerned they killed the Lord of glory. That, however, were impossible had Jesus not permitted it. For the salvation of men and for the glory of God His death was a necessity, and He willingly laid down His life. The Father ever loved His Son: He dwelt in His bosom. When, however, that well-loved Son laid down His life at Calvary His love went out to Him in a new way. A fresh motive was provided for the Father to love Him, as Jesus said, “Therefore doth My Father love Me because I lay down My life that I might take it again. No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of My Father” (John 10:17-18). This was the commandment which He ever kept before Him, which He fulfilled at Calvary, and which drew out the heart of the Father to Him as never before.
Knowing this, we are not surprised to learn of the earliest Visitant to His new tomb: at the earliest dawning of that new day—the resurrection day—the first day of the week—He was raised again from among the dead by “the glory of the Father”—before the disciples—before the women—the Father was there! Newness of life was then opened out for us in Christ risen, and newness of relationship unknown before was secured for the redeemed, and a new power given as a result when He sent the Spirit from on high. All is ours, for He has ascended as Man, the Son of the Father; and He could send by Mary a message to those He called “My brethren,” saying, “My Father your Father, My God your God.” Such words had never been uttered before. A new and heavenly relationship was established. A new family appeared—the heavenly royalty!
In view of this, the Lord Jesus had spoken of going away to prepare a home on high for us. He had brought the Father’s love to us here—“The Father Himself loves you,” He said; and now, in the home of that love He has prepared a place for us, so that where He Himself is, where the Son of the Father’s love is, we might be also. It is where He Himself is, our prepared place is. Where Jesus is we are to have our home along with Him, even as He said, “In My Father’s house are many abodes; were it not so I would have told you: for I go to prepare a place for you; and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself that WHERE I AM THERE YE MAY BE ALSO” (John 14:2-3). What marvellous grace and love! The beloved Son of the Father who fulfilled His Father’s commandment, who drank the cup which He gave to Him, who glorified Him on the earth and completed the work given to Him by the Father to do, who was raised from among the dead by His glory, who has gone on high to prepare a place for us in His Father’s house, what marvellous grace and love, again we say, that He Himself is coming again for us, to receive us to Himself, that we might dwell with Himself in His Father’s House for ever!
“Lord Jesus we bless Thee,
Loved Son of the Father,
The fame of Thy beauty
Our anthem transcends:
Oh, come soon and take us!
We long to be with Thee,
Uniting our praises
Where song never ends.”