Today’s full reading is John 3:31-35
“The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand.”
Before we comment on this specific verse, notice in your Bibles what Jesus says in the verse immediately before it. In verse 34 it says that God has given Jesus the Spirit without measure. Without measure; another way of saying it would be to say ‘without limit.’ Jesus lived as a man filled with the Spirit without measure or limit.
It is immediately after Jesus says this that he makes the statement that he does in verse 35. Jesus, the one who has been given the Spirit without limit, has also been given all things. Whatever Jesus could wish for or ask for he could have. What makes this statement even more fascinating is that this is a pre-resurrection statement. In other words, before Jesus died and rose again he could say this ‘the Father has given me all things.’
The Son of God has been given all things by his Father, nothing has been withheld from him. He is bountifully and inexhaustibly full of the Spirit, but also the possessor of whatever he wants or desires.
God the Father is not waiting for him to do a good job or waiting for him to be ‘successful’ in ministry.
“Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.”
The only prerequisite here (in Psalm 2:8) for the Son receiving ‘the nations’ is simple: asking. It isn’t ‘do this and this and this and then… feel free to ask.’ It is simply ‘ask me and I’ll give it to you whatever you desire!’
So, if this authority and power isn’t the result of a job well done what is it the result of?
Look again at verse 35:
‘The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand.’
Love. Because the Father loves the Son he gives the Son all things.
God the Father isn’t acting out of character when he does this and as such it reveals a few things about his character:
- He is loving. He has always loved, will always love and never was there a time when he didn’t love.
- He is a generous gift giver motivated to give by his love and not by our (or his son’s) performance.
- The apple of his eye, the centre of his affection is his Son, and if you’re a believer, you’re hidden ‘in the Son’ (Col. 3:4)
This is brilliant, brilliant and refreshing. This is a breath of fresh air to me and reveals a God so desirable that I feel as though I was made to know him. The loving, generous, gift giving Father is God.
Apart from giving me confidence to pray it makes me ponder. If God the Father has loved his Son like this, if the Son is the object of the Father’s affection, if the Son is a source of delight for the Father then there must be plenty more to Jesus than I have at first realised. This thought draws my mind deeper into the intoxicating goodness of God the Trinity and it is here that I find perfect contentment and rest for my soul.
Father show me exactly what it is about Jesus that has captured your love like this. I want to to know him more like this and I want to love him more. Thank you that you are a generous and loving Father, please help me to reflect your generosity and kindness to the people in my life today.