Wednesday, April 13, 2016


My Father loves me. He is happy to hear me when I pray. Jesus said, "In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I will request of the Father on your behalf; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father" (John 16:26-27).

The pronoun "himself" (αυτος) is emphatic both by usage (Moule, Idiom Book, p. 121) and in position as the first word of the phrase preceding "for" (γαρ). The verb "loves" (φιλει) indicates ongoing affection in the present tense. It is the only place where John uses φιλειν as opposed to αγαπαν in order to communicate God's love for us (Bernard, John, 2:520). While an absolute distinction cannot be maintained between these two verbs, it is generally true that φιλειν implies the idea of human affection more than the higher form of willful love (αγαπαν) normally used for God by John.

Jesus says that He does not need to persuade the Father to listen to us because the Father Himself has great affection for us. Jesus does not mean He will never intercede for us or be our advocate with the Father. He means that we do not need Him to be our "go between" in prayer because we can go directly to the Father. He, Himself, loves us. He, Himself, hears us!

Jesus gives us two reasons for the Father's love. The οτι is causal and introduces two perfect tense verbs indicating two reasons the Father loves us. First, He loves us because "Me, you, yourselves, have loved." The "me" (εμε) and the "you" (υμεις) are both emphatic. The perfect tense tells us that the choice to love (πεφιληκατε) was a past event (for the disciples) with ongoing results in present time.

The Father loves us because we love His son. This love is different than His love for the world (John 3:16). The affection He feels for those who love His son is an affection He does not feel for those who do not love His son. He loves us in a different way than He loves the world. Like the father who loves a young man because the young man loves his daughter, our heavenly Father loves us because we love Jesus. Our love for Jesus "seals the deal" on His love for us.

The second reason for the Father's love is because we have believed (πεπιστευκατε) is another perfect tense indicating a past choice with continuing results in the present. This is not a nebulous faith. The content of the faith is defined by "that" (οτι) - a content not a causal usage as earlier. We believe that Jesus "came forth from (παρα) the Father." the preposition (παρα) means "from the side of" (Robertson, Grammar, pp. 579,614). It is not enough to believe that Jesus was born into this world. We must believe that Jesus was sent from the side of the Father. Faith in the pre-existence of Jesus is essential to enjoy the personal love of the Father.

My Father loves me.
This I know.
For my Savior
Tells me so!

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