The Love of the Father and Son
May 13, 2022
He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him (John 14:21).
Yesterday we considered the question, “How can I know if I genuinely love Jesus?” We answered the question by stating that our love for Jesus is demonstrated by our faith in obeying His commandments - by ‘having’ (treasuring His commandments in the core of our spiritual life) and by ‘keeping’ (obey) what He has commanded us as His disciples. But there is a second question we have to consider, and that is “How can I know that God loves me?”
The answer to that question is also two-fold: (1) he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and (2) I will love him and manifest Myself to him. We will consider the second point first. To ‘manifest’ is to exhibit, disclose, appear, declare, inform, or signify. I would suppose there is nothing a genuine Christian desires more in this life than to be in the veritable presence of Jesus - to have the resurrected Jesus appear to them. However, for the vast majority of Christians that is not their experience. So, how does Jesus ‘manifest’ Himself to us? Certainly not physically because He no longer lives among us, but is at the right hand of the Father in heaven. He has chosen to manifest Himself to us through His Word and through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. That’s why we have both with us to this day. Through these manifestations Jesus becomes real to the true Christian.
Through these manifestations we realize His love for us. How so? Not all who read the Bible know it or understand it as God’s infallible, inerrant, verbally inspired Word of the true and living God. Many read the Bible as religious literature or legend, i.e. the Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Koran, the Vedas, etc. It is the love of God in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit that opens one’s spiritual eyes to the reality and truth of the Scriptures. Apart from that we cannot know God, we cannot believe in Jesus Christ, and we cannot know and understand the Scriptures because we do not have the Holy Spirit to reveal to us such truths. Jesus said, Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged (John 16:7-11).
Does this mean the love of the Father and Son are contingent upon our love for them? No. A spiritually dead and estranged soul cannot love God or Jesus Christ. It is God who first loves us, but that love must be reciprocated when it is made known (1John 4:19), We love Him because He first loved us. When our spirit is made alive by the work of the Holy Spirit, we then draw near to God and He will draw near to you (James 4:8). The love of God can be known intellectually, but only when we open our mind, heart, and spirit to Him can we know His love experientially. Amen.