Friday, June 13, 2008

Jesus the Beloved

branch in the water

“This,” said the mysterious voice from heaven in the midst of the waters of Jordan, “this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” And again, at the resurrection of Lazarus there came the same voice from heaven, announcing the perpetuity of the Father’s love. None of us can tell how dear Jesus must be to his Father. We have, however, abundant proofs of the fact that he is very near unto him, for he is privy to all his Father’s counsels. From the counsels of the Most High, Christ was never absent.

“When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: while as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: when he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: when he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by him, as one brought up with him; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him.”

“Let us make man,” said God, “in our own image,” - calling Christ into creation’s work. “Without him was not anything made that was made,” is the declaration of John the divine. Beside this, we know that everything which is done of the Father by his divine decree is that he may glorify his Son; while, on the other hand, the Son lived and died, and lives again that he may glorify the Father. Such is their mutual interest in one another that we cannot suppose a relationship closer, nor a love more intense than that which exists between the Father and the Son. It were foolish and ridiculous in me to attempt to dive into the awful depths of the divine unity. We know that the Father is one with the Son, and that Jesus is one with Jehovah. The unity of essence is a well so deep, that I cannot expect to find its bottom; and the love which springeth up from this essential unity must be more deep and profound than the wit of man can guess, or than the language of man can utter. I repeat the confession of our ignorance, it is impossible for us to form even a guess of the intensity of the affection that must exist between the eternal Father and Jesus Christ, his Son; since their essential union from which this affection springs is a doctrine beyond our comprehension, and is meekly to be received of our faith. Certainly we know that never was the term “beloved” so full of meaning, never did human word become so divinely rich as when God himself, by the Holy Ghost, applied it to Jesus the beloved of the Father.

From a sermon entitled "Accepted In The Beloved," delivered September 21, 1862. Flickr photo by Miyuki Utada; some rights reserved.

No comments: