“For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.” (John 16:27)
When God made Israel into a nation and blessed them, He also gave them some instructions (what we now call the Law). Unfortunately, the people of Israel often disobeyed the Law. In fact, they disobeyed much more often than they obeyed.
As Israel went on disobeying, God sent prophets to them, warning them that He would judge their sins if they didn’t come back to Him. But Israel kept ignoring Him. So eventually He kept His promise and sent cruel armies against His people to destroy their cities and drag them away from their homes to foreign countries.
But God was merciful, and He allowed many of His people to return home. That happened a few hundred years before Jesus was born. When the Jews returned home, they realized that God was serious about sin – that He really meant business.
But many Jews began thinking that God was merely an angry God, without much love.
When Jesus came, He showed compassion to people. He was often stern – He had to be so that people would know that He took sin very seriously. But He also forgave people who turned from their sins, and He was patient with people who kept messing up.
Because Jesus was so kind and good, His disciples knew that He loved them very much. However, they still viewed God the Father as a bit too distant – a bit too stern – for them to ask Him for things. So they would just ask Jesus.
But then Jesus told them something that probably amazed them. Just before He went to the Cross, He said, You don’t have to ask Me for things anymore. You can go to the Father directly, because the Father Himself loves you.
Jesus also said that the only reason we can go directly to the Father is that He (Jesus) died for us and made a Way. In fact, Jesus said that He is the Way to the Father. Because Jesus is the Way, we pray to the Father “in Jesus’ name.” But we don’t have to pray to Jesus, asking Him for things. He wants us to pray to the Father. Jesus wants us to know that the Father loves us, just as the Father loves His Only Son.
If you believe in Jesus – if your confidence is in Him – then the Father loves you. And so you can pray directly to the Father, in Jesus’ name.
Not only does Jesus love you, but the Father loves you, too.
» Do I pray to Jesus instead of to the Father because Jesus seems nicer? Do I need to start praying directly to the Father?
» Do I pray in Jesus’ name? Do I need to start praying in Jesus’ name to remind myself that Jesus is the Way to the Father?