The Father's Love
John 16:26, 27
At that day you shall ask in my name: and I say not to you, that I will pray the Father for you:…

The time here referred to must be the dispensation of the Holy Spirit. A great purpose of the gift of the Comforter and the establishment of the Church on earth was that a new, intimate, and happy relation might be constituted uniting the eternal God by personal and spiritual bonds to those who, made in his image, should become by grace partakers of his character.

I. THE OBJECTS OF THE FATHER'S LOVE. The description given of such as the Father regards with affection is very definite and very instructive.

1. They are those who love Christ. Undoubtedly, the apostles, to whom these words were originally spoken, did love their Master; events proved the sincerity of their attachment. Yet this qualification is one which may exist in those who have not seen Jesus in the body, but only with the eye of faith. Christians, who are such in reality and not merely in name, cherish a warm and grateful affection towards the Son of God, who himself loved them and bought them with his precious blood. Their love does not evaporate in sentiment; it displays itself in their reception of his doctrine, their obedience to his commands, their imitation of his holy example.

2. They are those who believe in Christ's Divine mission. If any man thinks of Christ as of One who is "of the earth," who is a merely human development, who has no special and Divine authority to save and to rule, such a one is not described in this language, and shuts himself out from the blessing which is accessible. But he who thinks of Jesus as of the Being who came forth from the Father, commissioned and equipped by the Father to be the Savior of men, and who not only thinks of him aright, but acts towards him in such a way as this belief authorizes, he may be encouraged to regard himself as the object of the Divine Father's love. Thus love and belief are both necessary. In this passage love takes precedence; but some belief concerning Christ must come before love, though unquestionably the loving soul learns to believe more richly and fully concerning the Divine, incomparable Friend.


1. It originates in his benevolent nature. His love is not caused by ours. "We love him, because he first loved us." But the love of Divine pity revealed in Christ enkindles the flame of love upon our hearts.

2. It manifests itself in the mediation of the Son. The love of God is not caused by the intercession of our Divine Advocate and Representative.

3. It is, towards these who believe in Christ, the love of satisfaction and complacency. Beginning (if we may use language so human) with pity, the Divine love goes on to approval. The Father recognizes in the friends and followers of Christ the same moral features and expressions which he looks upon with delight in his Son. This is a view of God which is eminently and distinctively Christian. The God whom we worship is a God who can love man, whose love flows forth in streams of compassion towards all men, but whose favor is revealed to those who display moral sympathy with his own beloved Son.


1. The objects of this Divine affection are encouraged to ask for what they need from him who is able to supply their many and varied wants. What greater evidence can there be of fatherly and filial feeling than when a son is at liberty to prefer requests to a parent who has confidence in his child and has the means of satisfying and of pleasing him? Such are the relations between the heavenly Father and those whom he adopts into his family.

2. The spontaneous disposition of the Father is to grant the requests of his children. This language casts light upon the Scripture doctrine of intercession. Christ is the Advocate with God, but his advocacy does not consist in persuading an unwilling Deity to relent from his severity and to act with generosity. On the contrary, the advocacy is the appointment of Divine love and the channel of Divine favor. Christ does not mean that he will not pray the Father for us; but that this fact of intercession is not the point upon which he is now dwelling. He is anxious that his friends should understand that the Father's love is free, that his liberality is such as to secure to his Son's friends the enjoyment of all good. And, as a consequence, every Christian is encouraged to bring his petitions to God, in the Name of Christ indeed, yet with the assurance that there is now nothing on the part of the Father to hinder the bestowal of all needed and desirable blessings. - T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:

WEB: In that day you will ask in my name; and I don't say to you, that I will pray to the Father for you,

The Father's Love
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