The World and the Father

John 17:25-26; 1 John 3:1-3

In John 17 the Lord is speaking to the Father about the men the Father had given Him out of the world, and also about those who should believe through the testimony about to be rendered by them in the gospel; and these words were spoken in the hearing of the apostles that they might know the interest which both Father and Son took in them as long as they were down here, and for our encouragement are they also recorded.

The Son had glorified the Father. The work which the Father had given Him to do He had finished. On the platform of earth He could do nothing more for the glory of the Father, and therefore He asks to be glorified in order that upon another platform, that of resurrection, He might continue this glorifying of the Father. But the way in which He speaks of glorifying the Father from the resurrection platform is by giving eternal life to the men the Father had given Him. This is the way in which He is now glorifying the Father. But as He was leaving them in this world, a world which was hostile to Him because He was here in the Father’s name and hostile to them because they were to be here in His name, He commends them to the care of the holy Father.

In verse 25 He does not speak of the holy Father, but of the righteous Father, and that because the Father must now judge between Him and the world. The world had rejected Him, branded Him as a malefactor, said that He had a devil and was mad. What would the Father say? Would He justify the world? He alone could decide the question, and to the decision of the Father the Son confidently appeals; He commits Himself to Him who judges righteously. He says, as it were, “I leave the issue entirely in Thy hands; Thou art sure to do that which is right.”

How has the Father decided? He has raised Him from the dead, highly exalted Him, and given Him a name that is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of heavenly, earthly, and infernal things; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. The world is not as yet aware of the way in which the Father has decided. It staggers on blindly in the darkness of unbelief; but we know, for we see Jesus crowned with glory and honour. But the world will one day know all about it, and for that day we wait in the patience of Christ and for that day He also waits.

The day of manifestation will surely come, and when it does come it will be a great day for Christ, a great day for His people, and a great day for the world. It will be a sorrowful day for those who are His enemies, but for those who submit themselves to Him it will be a day of salvation and great joy. The eyes of men will then be opened, the veil lifted off all faces, and the name of Christ will be excellent in all the earth. That name that is now despised will be the only name honoured in that day.

But what about those given to Him of the Father? and what about those who have believed through their word? He says, “These have known that Thou hast sent Me.” He had given them the Father’s word, and, He says, “The world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” He says again, “They will put you out of the synagogue: yea, the time comes, that whosoever killeth you will think that he does God service.” Must not the Father decide also between such and the world? It may be asserted that He has already decided, He has given us the Spirit and brought us into the relationship of children. As far as we are concerned the Father has decided this momentous question, for surely a momentous question it is. We are brought into the place of children, the love of God in our hearts, the Spirit of God witnessing with our spirits that we are God’s children, and enabling us to cry in the ear of God, Abba, Father. But the world did not know Him, and it does not know us; it persecuted Him, and it persecutes every one who follows in His footsteps; it cast out His name as evil, and it cast out as evil the name of His disciples also. Who is to decide this question, which is a source of continual irritation between His people and the world? Who could decide it but the One who judges righteously?

How is He to decide it? in the day of manifestation we shall be like Christ. We will appear in the same glory as Himself. He says, “The glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.”

This question will then be for ever settled, never to be raised again. The rapture will not settle it, though in one sense it is as much settled now as ever it will be. It is settled as far as our relationships with God are concerned. But it has yet to be settled in a public way; the world has yet to know that the Father sent the Son and has loved us with the same love with which He is loved. The manifestation of Christ and of His own with Him will set that question for ever at rest, and nothing else can.

May the Lord hasten that day in which He alone shall be exalted, and in which His name shall be excellent in all the earth.