… for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father.
I am not sure why, but this verse very nearly brought me to tears this morning and I felt I had to stop and mull it over.
[T]he Father Himself loves you. I know that the context is one of asking in prayer, but this simple declaration hits hard. To know that the Father Himself loves you is profound. In a time when fathers are often absentee and mothers are asked to pick up that slack, it strikes a cord deep within a man to know that the Father Himself loves you. So much of what the Father does is incomprehensible to me, yet to know that the Father Himself loves you puts all of those actions; all of those choices into a context that I do understand. I, too, am a father and I, too, love my children and that opens a window of understanding that was never available to me before.
Jesus gives a reason why the Father loves those disciples: because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father. I, too, love Christ just as imperfectly as those disciples. I can rest assured that the Father loves me as He loves those disciples. I, too, believe that Jesus came from the Father and this belief leads to the Father’s sacrifice of His Son; the Father’s broken heart not being in vain. Jesus’ sacrifice for me is effectual and this prompts the Father’s love. He loves His Son and He loves those who love His Son. It is a truth I had not really begun to comprehend until I became a father. I love my children and I love those who love my children — if for no other reason than because they love my children, though I often love them independent of that.
The Father loves us. There is a praise song whose lyrics mostly annoy me, but whose chorus I could sing for long stretches at a time. The chorus is “He loves us. Oh, how He loves us. Oh, how He loves us; how He loves us all.” How He loves us. Let me lean back in that love and rest.