“I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” — John 17:26 (NASB)
There are treasures in the Word of God that you cannot appreciate until you pause to ask yourself if it is possible that the passage means what it seems to mean. This verse is my new-found gem. Jesus here is praying for us — all who would one day believe in Jesus (see v. 20). He is telling His Father that He will keep revealing His Name — the character and nature of the Father — to as many people as will listen. Then Jesus says something truly astonishing: the purpose of revealing the Father is so that those who embrace this revelation may actually have the Father’s love for Jesus in them!
This phrase can be interpreted in two ways, both of which are profound in their own right. The first way to understand this is that the Father actually put His love for Jesus in our hearts so that we can love Jesus with the depth and quality that He does. This is the ultimate guarantee of staying faithful and true to our First Love, because we are actually empowered to love Christ with a supernatural love.
The second way to understand this, which I find even more amazing, is that the Father loves us with the same passion that He loves Jesus, and He plants a revelation of that love in our hearts. How can it be that we could be loved like Jesus is loved?! How differently would we live our lives if we really believed that we are loved by God our Father like He loves Jesus?
Because I do not want to go off the deep end with a bad understanding of God’s Word, I checked a number of commentaries. The first understanding is supported by Wesley’s commentary. The second is supported by Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown commentary; Geneva Notes; and Arthur Pink. Two commentators support both as being intended: Matthew Henry and Charles Spurgeon.
Spurgeon’s sermon on this verse is one of the finest heart-stirring sermons I have ever heard or read, and you can read it online at http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/1667.htm. Because I was stirred by his writing, I will conclude with some quotes from this sermon:
“FOR SEVERAL SABBATH MORNINGS my mind has been directed into subjects which I might fitly call the deep things of God. I think I have never felt my own incompetence more fully than in trying to handle such subjects. It is a soil into which one may dig and dig as deep as ever you will, and still never exhaust the golden nuggets which lie within it. I am, however, comforted by this fact, that these subjects are so fruitful that even we who can only scratch the surface of them shall yet get a harvest from them…”
“Is not this a wonderful thing — that God’s own love to Jesus should dwell in our hearts? And yet it is so. The love wherewith we love Christ, mark you, is God’s love to Christ…”
“The love wherewith he loved his Son — such is his love to all his chosen ones. Can you believe it, that you should be the object of God’s delight, even as Christ is, because you are in Christ; that you should be the object of the Father’s love as truly as Christ is, because he sees you to be part and parcel of the mystical body of his well-beloved Son?”
Originally posted on December 18, 2009