Reposting of my most read post of 2016…
“Relationships are messy”, a catch phrase in our generation. Must we be resigned to difficult relationships…without hope? Sin makes relationships hard. Sinfulness makes them messy. Following God’s blueprint for relationships can help us endure the hard, reduce the messy, and ultimately bring Him glory. Two critical elements of a perfect relationship are love and honor.
Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. The Father loves the Son and shows Him all things He is doing. John 5:19-20a
The Father is transparent and the Son watchful. Because of the love the Father has for the Son, He shows Him all things that He is doing. The Son in return does only what He sees His Father doing. The works the Son does testifies that the Father sent Him. The Son glorified the Father by accomplishing the work the Father gave Him to do (John 17:4).
…but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. John 14:31a
The Son’s love is seen in His exact obedience to His Father’s commands. Not only by doing the works of the Father, but speaking the words the Father taught Him (John 8:28, 12:49, 50). The Son obeyed the Father’s command even to the point of laying down His life (John 10:17-18). Even though Jesus was willing to do exactly as His Father commanded Him, we should not think that what He committed to do was easy. As the writer of Hebrews tells us:
In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. Hebrews 5:7-8
Jesus showed love for His Father in His exact obedience even though it came with suffering and death on a cross.
“For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. John 5:22-23
The Father honored the Son by giving Him the power of judgment. “The judge of all the earth” (Genesis 18:25), gave up His right to judge, because He wanted the Son to be honored. Jesus understood that He came into the world for judgment for all do not believe His word nor the One who sent Him (John 5:24).
…I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. John 8:49b
Jesus honored the Father by seeking to do His Father’s will.
I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. John 5:30
For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. John 6:38
Again, just because Jesus was the Son of God, we should not assume that His commitment to do God’s will was easy. After sharing the Passover meal with His disciples, Jesus, along with Peter, James and John went to the garden of Gethsemane. There He became distressed and troubled, telling them “My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death” and asking them to remain there and keep watch. He moved away from them and began to pray…
And He was saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.” Mark 14:36
As much as Jesus didn’t want to experience death on the cross, He knew that was the purpose for which He came (John 12:27). The end result was the Son honoring the Father and the Father exalting the Son.
Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:8-11
The Father loved the Son by showing and giving Him all things. The Son loved the Father by obeying His commands. The Father in turn brought honor to the Son by giving Him the power of judgment. The Son also honored the Father by doing only the Father’s will not His own. Their relationship resulted with each bringing glory to the other.
This perfect relationship show that the Son and the Father are one (John 10:30). We may think that a perfect relationship of love and honor that leads to oneness is not possible for us, but that is exactly what Jesus prays for us to have.
I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. John 17:20-24