THE WONDERFUL LOVE
Even as the Father Hath Loved Me, I Also Have Loved you--John
Here Christ leaves the language
of parable, and speaks plainly out of the Father. Much as the
parable could teach, it could not teach the lesson of love. All
that the vine does for the branch, it does under the compulsion
of a law of nature: there is no personal living love to the branch.
We are in danger of looking to Christ as a Saviour and a supplier
of every need, appointed by God, accepted and trusted by us, without
any sense of the intensity of personal affection in which Christ
embraces us, and our life alone can find its true happiness. Christ
seeks to point us to this.
And how does He do so? He leads
us once again to Himself, to show us how identical His own life
is with ours. Even as the Father loved Him, He loves us. His life
as vine dependent on the Father was a life in the Father's love;
that love was His strength and His joy; in the power of that divine
love resting on Him He lived and died. If we are to live like
Him, as branches to be truly like our Vine, we must share in this
too. Our life must have its breath and being in a heavenly
love as much as His. What the Father's love was to Him, His
love will be to us. If that love made Him the true Vine, His love
can make us true branches. "Even as the Father hath loved
me, so have I loved you."
Even as the Father hath loved
Me--And how did the Father love Him? The infinite desire and
delight of God to communicate to the Son all He had Himself, to
take the Son into the most complete equality with Himself, to
live in the Son and have the Son live in Him--this was the love
of God to Christ. It is a mystery of glory of which we can form
no conception, we can only bow and worship as we try to think
of it. And with such a love, with this very same love, Christ
longs in an infinite desire and delight to communicate to us all
He is and has, to make us partakers of His own nature and blessedness,
to live in us and have us live in Himself.
And now, if Christ loves us with
such an intense, such an infinite divine love, what is it that
hinders it triumphing over every obstacle and getting full possession
of us? The answer is simple. Even as the love of the Father to
Christ, so His love to us is a divine mystery, too high for us
to comprehend or attain to by any effort of our own. It is only
the Holy Spirit who can shed abroad and reveal in its all-conquering
power without intermission this wonderful love of God in Christ.
It is the vine itself that must give the branch its growth and
fruit by sending up its sap. It is Christ Himself must by His
Holy Spirit dwell in the heart; then shall we know and have in
us the love that passeth knowledge.
As the Father loved Me, so have
I loved you--Shall we not draw near to the personal living
Christ, and trust Him, and yield all to Him, that He may love
this love into us? Just as he knew and rejoiced every hour--the
Father loveth Me--we too may live in the unceasing consciousness--as
the Father loved Him, so He loves me.
As the Father loved Me, so have
I loved you. Dear Lord, I am only beginning to apprehend how
exactly the life of the Vine is to be that of the branch too.
Thou art the Vine, because the Father loved Thee, and poured His
love through Thee. And so Thou lovest me, and my life as branch
is to be like Thine, a receiving and a giving out of heavenly
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