Sermon: Jesus Reunites Us to Our Father John 16:23-33

Jesus Reunites Us to Our Father

John 16:23-33

Primary Truth Taught- Through Christ’s death we are reunited to our heavenly Father for all eternity.

Introduction

Out side of the cross and the shed blood of Jesus one of the greatest pictures of a father’s love for his son is found in the Parable of the Prodigal Son. In this story that Jesus tells, He wants us to understand the love the father had for his rebellious son. In this picture we see the love our heavenly Father has for all His children. We must specify here that God only loves those who, by grace, love His Son Jesus Christ. On those He places His special relational love.

Luke 15:11–32 (ESV)

11 And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. 14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.

17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.” ’ 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

25 “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29 but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’ ”

 

In the Parable of the Prodigal Son, the Father waits for his son’s return. He prays that after the money runs out he would return home. The elder brother has disowned the prodigal brother and has remained bitter toward him.

Beloved, our Father did not wait for our return. He knew that because of our sin and rebellion we were shipwrecked and stranded in our sin. There was no way we could return to the Father. So, God the Father sends our elder Brother Jesus Christ. He isn’t bitter toward us at all but comes willingly. Our elder brother died for our sin so that He could bring us back to the Father…alive and well.

In our text today, we see Jesus in the midst of His mission to bring us to God. He’s explaining to us that no longer will God’s children need someone to speak to the Father on their behalf but we can approach God the Father on our own through Jesus Christ.

Human Need

God the Father has become our Father because of the sacrifice of our elder Brother Jesus Christ. God is our Father too. He loves us as His children. He is for us. He is on our side. He sent Jesus to come and get us, to bring us home. We really must understand the love the Father has for His adopted children.

Father, You have Gathered Your people that You may let us hear Your words, so that we may learn to fear You all the days that we live on the earth, and that we may also teach our children…amen

John 16:23–33 (ESV)

23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

25 “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 of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 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; 27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”

29 His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! 30 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.” 31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32 Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. 33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

  1. Our Blood-Bought Relationship with Our Father

23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

25 “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 of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 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; 27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.

Early on in the Gospel of Matthew Jesus introduces His followers to a new concept. This is a concept they had never heard before. They knew about God from the OT and the Mosaic Law but somewhere through the centuries of Judaism, the concept was lost. It is extremely interesting that our Lord introduces us to our Father through the vital lifeline of prayer. All who are in Christ can rightly address God as their own Father. Jesus said our Father…
Matthew 6:5–15 (ESV)

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:

       “Our Father in heaven,

       hallowed be your name.

10    Your kingdom come,

       your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

11    Give us this day our daily bread,

12    and forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13    And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

So, it is when we pray to God the Father through the Son that we exercise our current Father son/daughter relationship with Him. Jesus is clear throughout the New Testament that we can address God as Father in prayer.

I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.

It is through the shed blood of the Son that we can come to the Father and as we pray in the Name of Jesus He will give us the answers to our praying.

Ephesians 2:18 (ESV)

18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.

Here’s where I might step on a few toes. In one sense, because all persons of the Trinity are fully God, it’s not wrong to pray to each. At the same time, the majority of our prayers should be directed to the Father.

Here’s why I say this…
Jesus prayed to the Father. The Apostles prayed to the Father. Through the work of Christ we now have access to the Father in prayer. The Holy Spirit aids in our prayers directed to the Father…

Romans 8:26–27 (ESV)

26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Another reason I say this comes from our text…
23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.

26 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; 27 for the Father himself loves you,

Jesus’ death and resurrection has brought His people into a relationship to the Father. We can approach God as our Father.

Jesus has achieved for the Father one of His great passions, that we would be restored into a perfect fellowship with Him. Jesus has accomplished this through the cross.

Our Lord tells us that the Father, Himself loves us. He explains why that’s true…

27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God

The Father loves us because we love His Son and believe that the Father sent Jesus to our rescue.

We must understand that our love for Jesus does not earn us God’s love but is the result of God placing His affections upon us first…
1 John 4:10 (ESV)

10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

1 John 4:19 (ESV)

19 We love because he first loved us.

  1. Jesus’ Blood-Bought Victory Over the World

28 I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”

29 His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! 30 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.” 31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32 Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. 33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

The cross accomplished at least two major things. It brought us into a family relationship with the Father whereby we can approach our Dad, the God of the Universe, with complete confidence that He desires us to come to Him and will grant us all good things. Secondly, the cross of Christ was how He defeated Satan, his army, and this world system.

Our Lord explains to us that He came from the Father. In other words, He has divine origin. Jesus clearly preexisted and was with the Father prior to coming to earth.
John 1:1–4 (ESV)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.

Next our Lord highlights the fact of the incarnation… and have come into the world.

Next, He tells us that He is leaving this world. He leaves this world through His death on the cross, His resurrection from the grave, and His ascension to the Father.

Jesus warns the disciples that they will be scattered by the worldly aggression that will so severely afflict the Son. Peter will deny Christ and the others will fall in line. In a very real sense they will all deny Jesus in their own way.

Notice what comfort Jesus takes. Notice the peace He has in the middle of His most intense struggle…
Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.

We should pause for a second and think through this. Even though all His friends and followers will leave Him shortly, His Father will still be there.

Jesus shows us that this will fulfill the Zechariah prophecy…
Zechariah 13:7 (ESV)

   “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd,

against the man who stands next to me,”

declares the Lord of hosts.

       “Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered;

I will turn my hand against the little ones.

Jesus took comfort because even though everyone else would forsake Him, His Father never would. I use that word purposely…Even though Jesus cried out from the cross, My God My God why have You forsaken Me, He and the Father were still united in purpose. The Father for that brief time had to forsake His Son in order to pour out His wrath on Jesus so our sins could be atoned for.

Jesus knew what eternal peace was all about. He promises us that same peace. The difference being our Father will never forsake us.

Jesus gave His disciples the Farewell Discourse so that in the midst of danger and fear they could have eternal peace…
33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.

Not every person has the peace Jesus refers to here. There are two qualifications for the peace God gives…

– It is in Christ. in me you may have peace. It is only in Christ do we have peace with God. Apart from Christ humanity is at war with God.

Ephesians 2:13–16 (ESV)

13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.

– In His Word. Jesus said these things to them that they would have peace. So, peace with God comes through His Word. As we gain a clear understanding of the things of God, His person and His requirements we will then experience peace.

We must be clear what Jesus is speaking about. The peace He offers is peace with God. He is not offering us peace with the world. We cannot be at peace with two opposing sides. If we love the world and seek to be at peace with it we have automatically made ourselves enemies with God.
Our Lord ends this amazing section of Scripture known as His Farewell Discourse by telling us that He has overcome the world. How did He know this?

How did He overcome the world? He overcame the world through is death on the cross. He was victorious over the world and over death. In order to defeat death, Jesus had to die.

Now all who have come to Christ by faith have also overcome the world.

1 John 5:4–5 (ESV)

For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

Regardless what we go through in this life we can, take heart because…
We have been reunited to our Father by Christ

We have peace with God through Christ

We have overcome the world with Christ

We are kept secure because of Christ.

Application

We are accepted by God and are part of His family through faith in Christ. Despite our past sins in Christ we have peace with God. Jesus teaches us to call Him our Father.

Do you know God as Father? Are you at peace with Him?

 

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