Brethren Archive

The Father’s Gift of the Son

by Inglis Fleming


The Gospel of John presents to our delighted view the triumphal progress of the Son of God.

Though rejected and refused in the world His hands had made, though denied His rights, by the people, Israel, He had so privileged, yet He is Master of the situation wherever we follow Him through the inspired pages of this Gospel.

In spite of all which His enemies could do He will carry out the will of His Father, and He will have “His own,” who are the Father’s gift to Him.

He manifested His glory to His enemies. But they would not have Him to reign over them. Was He defeated! No, to them He says, “Ye also have seen Me and believe not,” but adds “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” Notice that it is to His opposers that He makes this assertion. They might do and would do their worst, but in the midst of their bitterest antagonism His Father’s gift to Him would be made good. “All” of these “shall come to Me” He victoriously declares. In perfect submission to the Father’s will and delight in carrying it out He then says,

“For I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son and believeth on Him may have everlasting life and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:36-40).

What words of power and of grace are here!

He will have the Father’s gift, and yet the way is open for every one to have everlasting life.

And what delight it is to the heart of those who believe, to know that they are part of the Father’s gift to the Son. We rejoice in the oft-used words “Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” We find comfort in knowing that He will never, no never, cast out one who comes to Him. But possibly we have not carefully examined the context of the precious statement. Graciously He receives the vilest and the worst sinner. Never, no never, will He reject one who comes. But He receives such as His Father’s gift of love to Him. And will He ever reject them either when they come at first, or at any time after they have come to Him?

The writer of these lines has an old watch. It is an excellent timekeeper and is useful on that account. However it is not beautiful in appearance. It is somewhat large for the pocket, and is out-of-date according to more modern ideas, but it is esteemed most highly and worn most constantly and is among the most treasured possession he has. Why? It was a love gift from his devoted, Christian mother, who has long since gone to be with the Lord she loved. The gift is cherished for her sake and would not be parted with for the choicest watch of most recent production.

“The Son of the Father,” in doing “the will of the Father,” has received the gift of the Father, and He values every one who is part of that gift and will never lose one of them. He values us who believe upon Him as a portion of the expression of the Father’s love. It is not what we were in ourselves, not what we have been since we came to Him. It is what we are as

GIVEN OF THE FATHER

to Him in the hours of His rejection in the world.

In John 10:27-30, the Good shepherd (Who gave His life for the sheep), is again speaking to the Jews who believed not. To them He shows something of the blessedness of those who are numbered among “His own.”

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.”

Then He adds that which links them with His Father’s love:

My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all: and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.

In a fellowship of love and power the Father and the Son are viewed as preserving the given ones from all that the foes can effect. The Son keeps for the Father. The Father keeps for the Son. The heart of the Father gives in love. The hands of the Father and of the Son keep in power. And no one can snatch away the gift. What communion of interest we are called to consider with regard to all (ourselves among the number) His sheep.

Given by the Father. Received by the Son the Shepherd. They are HELD SECURE in spite of every enemy.

Turning to John 17 we find yet other thought concerning the given ones. In verses 1 and 2 our Lord prays that He may be glorified in order that from that glory “HE” MAY “GIVE ETERNAL LIFE TO AS MANY AS” THE FATHER “HAS GIVEN HIM.”

He desires that they may be brought into fullness of enjoyment even now. Into fellowship with the Father and with Himself. Then He adds. “This is life eternal that they may know Thee the only true God and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.

In his Epistle the same apostle exclaims with evident delight “Truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you that your joy may be full.” The great thought in eternal life is the height of privilege to be known by its possessors. It is heaven begun on earth in fullness of blessing. And this is now given to every believer upon the Son. The gift is ours whether it is enjoyed in greater or lesser measure. Valuing His Father’s gift to Him He bestows priceless favour upon them all that they may share with Him His own delights before the face of His Father, now our Father, and His God, now our God (John 20:17).

In John 17:6, we read, “I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world.” The condition in which the given ones were found comes before us now. They had been

“OF THE WORLD.”

They had been part and parcel of that system of things which is “not of the Father.” In themselves they were not different from the rest of Adam’s race. But chosen out of the world in the sovereign mercy of a Saviour-God, they were given to the Son. To them He made known the Father’s hallowed name that His joy and peace might be theirs. Thus He introduces them into a new world, the world of the Father’s deep affection, and so their link with the world of hatred is broken for ever.

All this was in accordance with the Father’s counsels before the world began to be. They were chosen before the earth’s foundation.

“THINE THEY WERE AND THOU GAVEST THEM ME” (v.6)

They were treasured by the Son as having been the Father’s choice and as being now bestowed upon Himself, entrusted to Him on the Father’s behalf. Happy indeed are all who have come to the Son, and who know that they were in the Father’s thoughts of affection for His Son in eternity.

“I pray for them which Thou hast given Me for they are Thine” (v. 9). Left for the time in a world of evil, of antagonism to the Son, and where the Father had been seen and hated, the present intercession of the Son is made on their behalf. For this He ever liveth. And “if any man sin we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous, and He is the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 2:1-2).

It is thus that the given ones are maintained in their course. His present ministry upholds the feeblest of the number, as He ministers to them grace and succour from on high.

So He keeps now, “those that Thou gavest Me” as He kept those of their number when on earth. And we sing with thankfulness

“Through manifold temptations,

My soul holds on its course.

Christ’s mighty intercession

Alone is our resource.”

Neither slumbering nor sleeping, our Lord is ceaseless in His prayer for us.

But the best is to come. We are allowed to hear our Lord’s longing for us as He prays (v. 24) “Father, I will that they also whom Thou hast GIVEN Me, be with Me where I am: that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me for Thou loved’st Me before the foundation of the world.

Nothing short of this will satisfy His heart. The loved ones, the given ones, must be in His company where He is. He would have them in glory with Himself. Already He had said “I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself, that where I am there ye may be also?” Now He prays that the jewel given Him may have its setting in glory. Glorious ultimate for all His own!

As we consider these thoughts and purposes and desires of the Father and the Son should not our hearts rise in wonder and in worship and our lives be yielded in deepest gratitude while we await the grand consummation at our Lord’s coming again.

I.Fleming

S.T. 1938






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