Tuesday, 1 September 2015

The Father Who Honours Us

'If anyone serves me, the Father will honour him.'
John 12:26
There it is again. The Father's delight in the Son and desire to bless anyone in close proximity to the Son. Again I'm struck by Jesus; if he isn't God then he is utterly wicked or insane. He is convinced that he is the centre of God's attention and affection. It is that belief that seems to drive him most of all. It's that conviction that will ultimately lead him to the cross.

But let's focus on the Father. Apart from saying (again) that he's devoted to his Son and loves to publicly show his affection, what can I say?

The Father honours all who are obeying Jesus. He's a Father who loves pouring out blessing and reward.

Honour. Son servants will be honoured we're told. God the Father is an affectionate, happy to praise, warm-hearted Father. What does it mean to be honoured by him? To be honoured is to be treated with the highest respect, to be shown to the best seats, to be praised and treated with dignity. To be honoured is to be treated as one who has value. This is how the Father behaves toward Son servants.

Or is the force of the statement different from that? Is it more 'it won't go unnoticed and unrewarded if you serve the Son'? As in: 'if you serve me the Father won't forget it.' Is that it? In this instance we have a Father who doesn't overlook or forget us and what we do. He is a Father who can be trusted to deliver and remember. We haven't got to remind him.

It's probably a combination of both senses. He both treats us with honour and won't forget our service. But what honour can we expect? Jesus doesn't say. He does say in the verses before that he's here to drive a wedge between us and the world. Which means that whatever else he's alluding to, he isn't promising a comfortable and easy life.

Service to the Son, the kind that gets the attention of the Father, is also what separates us from the world.

But the Father honours us. To be honoured in the eternal place of God's residence, to be honoured in heaven and in the life to come is better than to be honoured on Earth in the here and now. No matter how many people speak well of us, show us respect and treat us with dignity and worth, it all amounts to nothing compared to being honoured by the Father.

Serve Jesus, obey him, follow him and be honoured by the Father.

Anyone who would treat my two boys is a friend of mine and Jesus is saying the same thing about God.

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