Dear Friends, Christians and non-Christians alike, and you of all faiths and thoughts and all views and opinions, I bid you and ask you to join with me in another voyage of intellectual discovery. I welcome you in this quest of attaining and coming to know intellectual honesty and honest discernment. Join me in this voyage of discovery to get at and find what is valid and authentic in the present confusion of the world and come with me in tearing apart the curtain of darkness that hides from us what is truth and facts.
Today I once again set about to explain and interpret another gospel passage, this time found in the gospel of John chapter 16 verses 23-30. I do so with great hesitation and humility. I am honored to have the great privilege of even attempting to grasp and comprehend the words and mind of the son of God, the savior of the world and redeemer of all mankind and all generations past, present and to come.
The words from the gospel of John are as follows:
… “Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
“I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures but will tell you plainly about the Father. In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”
His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figures! Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.”
This is a very telling and fascinating biblical text and the passage from the gospel of John. The passage concerns certain significant and important ideas that Jesus seeks to convey about himself, his mission, and his role. He says initially that if you ask anything of the Father, he will give to you in the name of Jesus. He emphasizes that while up to this point you have asked nothing in his name, you can now ask and you will receive. The meaning is clear: he, Jesus, is one with God the Father and if you ask of the Father, he will grant it. He will grant it to you in the name of Jesus. Now what you ask in the name of Jesus, who is and shares the power and Godhead of God, it will be granted.
Jesus goes on to say that he no longer speaks in figures. Such is his connection with God the Father, he can and will speak plainly of the Father since they are one and the same in power and glory. Jesus testifies that the Father loves them all because the disciples have loved him and believed that he has come from the Father. Thus, they have believed he is God with the Father, sharing the full nature of God. Jesus concludes he has come from the Father and has come into the world and is going to the Father.
What do we have here? In this gospel passage, Jesus makes clear that he is God with the Father in heaven, and shares his full Godly being with the Father. Jesus says the Father loves the disciples and indeed all men and women and his newly founded church because they have come to believe that Jesus has come from the Father and is one with him and concludes that he has come into the world from the Father and is going as one with God to the Father.
Jesus’s claim of shared divinity is made clear here. He comes from the Father, is one with the Father in love, and returns to the Father to reside in heaven with all the angels and company of heaven. Jesus has come from the Father and is returning to him. The disciples will find their reward in the love God has for those who love the son. The disciples need not ask questions because Jesus will now speak plainly. The passage does not mean the love of the Father is contingent upon our love for Christ, but all men and the Father and Christ are in a circle of mutual love for one another. The Father stands within that circle with the mediator, Jesus Christ. Jesus comes from and departs to the Father.
I have tried, however inadequately, to interpret this passage from the gospel of John. I realize this effort at report and explanation and my analysis of these verses may not be valid. This essay is only an attempt on my part and I acknowledge the privilege in this effort at understanding and interpretation and, most important, urge you all to return to and read the biblical text which no effort of mine can replace. The words of Christ are eternal and undying and cannot cease to be read and read again and again to be fully grasped by we poor humans and mortals.