Loved By the Father: John 16:16-33

Focus Passage: John 16:16-33 (NIV)

16 Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”

17 At this, some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 18 They kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he is saying.”

19 Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’? 20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. 23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

25 “Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”

29 Then Jesus’ disciples said, “Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. 30 Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.”

31 “Do you now believe?” Jesus replied. 32 “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Read John 16:16-33 in context and/or in other translations on!

One of the biggest misconceptions in the whole Bible is that God the Father is a mean Deity, and Jesus came to protect us from His wrath. This is a complete distortion of God’s character and not only is it opposite of what the Bible actually teaches, it also doesn’t make logical sense when we look deeper at the implication of this idea.

The Bible teaches that God is One, and He is unified in love and purpose. The clearest, simplest description of God is simply the word “Love”. All parts of God operate through the filter of love; every member of the Godhead has Love as the foundation of His character.

Believing that Jesus came to protect us from God separates the unity of love in God’s character that the Bible teaches because it essentially says that Jesus stands opposite of God and that they both will debate over our salvation-worthiness. Jesus doesn’t even come close to teaching this. At several places in the gospels, Jesus shares what God the Father thinks of us.

In the last conversation Jesus had with His disciples prior to His arrest and crucifixion, Jesus clearly tells His followers that “The Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.” (v. 27)

Jesus doesn’t stand opposite of God. He doesn’t need to. They both stand on the side of love towards those who have chosen to love Him.

While this doesn’t answer all the challenges that critics have for God and His actions, it reemphasizes unity in the Godhead. This also emphasizes Jesus’ mission to come for those looking for help and for those needing a Savior.

God the Father loves each of us because we have loved, trusted, and believed in His Son. This is about as simple and clear as it could be, and that means that God is just as trustworthy as Jesus when it comes down to our salvation!

This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus "Reflective Bible Study" package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today!

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