Who Sent Jesus?

Jesus often spoke of “him who sent me.”  We assume these words refer to God, so we filter them through our own ideas of what God is like.  But if we are serious about following in Jesus’  footsteps, we need to set aside our preconceptions. What did he actually say about the person he claimed as his leader?

The first thing to notice is that Jesus’ obedience was not a one-sided effort. He perceived that his leader was with him at every moment:  “And he who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him.”  (John 8:29)

Jesus had a name for his leader.  He called him “Father.”

 “Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. ”  John 16:32

“And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me.”  John 5:37

The Father was not merely present, he was an active role model:  

“…the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever he does, that the Son does likewise.  For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all that he himself is doing.”  (John 5:19-20)

Imagine having a dependable guide beside you every moment, leading you along, not with demands and rules but with a step by step example.  Is such a thing possible for ordinary humans?  Jesus had a constant connection to his Father, but what about the rest of us?  What kind of relationship can we hope to have with a “Father” we have never seen?

In fact, we have reason to hope for quite a lot.  Jesus hinted at the possibilities when he said:  “… no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”  (Matthew 11:27)  Getting to know the Father need not be an impossible dream.  Jesus can introduce us if he chooses.  This hope is reinforced by something Jesus told his disciples during the last supper:

“In that day you will ask in my name; and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; for the Father himself loves you…” (John 16:26 & 27).

Thus he promised that the disciples would be able to interact directly with the Father.   Jesus extended that promise to later generations of believers when he said:

 “I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as thou, Father art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” (John 17: 20 & 21)

What does this mean for today’s Christians? How can we distinguish the Father’s voice among the clamor of conflicting human wants and needs?  Let’s begin by asking Jesus to reveal the Father to us.  Then we can look in our Bibles to see what else Jesus said to his disciples about the Father and his guidance.

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