June 10, 2013
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
“I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world:
again I leave the world, and go to the Father.”
The Lord Jesus employed an economy of words to express an abundance of truth. Consider the four statements which appear in this one verse of Scripture. The first thing which you notice is the first person singular, “I”. No coercion; no external demand was placed upon Him. “I came forth” heralds His voluntary desire to come into our world. But now notice that He came forth from the Father. Here we see His eternal Sonship. The preposition “from” or ‘para‘ suggests from the side of the Father. He enjoyed eternal fellowship and communion in His presence. But He chose to come forth from the Father.
“And am come into the world.” His incarnation is in view. His coming was unique and distinct from every other ever recorded or known. We enter the world with the dignity of humanity conferred upon us. In God’s purposes, humankind is the summit of His creation. But for Him, coming meant humbling Himself. Not only did He humble Himself to become man, but He endured humiliation at the hands of His own creation.
“I leave the world.” What must His thoughts have been as He uttered those words! Think of how He left the world. First there was the scourging and the scorn, the mock trial, the rejection and choice of Barabbas. Finally the cross, with the hatred of men and the venom of Satan, mingled together in a flood of suffering which His sensitive and holy soul endured. But finally, there was the wrath of God against sin. He would leave the world via the cross. There was then, the resurrection and ascension.
“.. and go to the Father.” Here is what He longed for and looked to throughout the Gospel of John. Recall that John’s Gospel is often referred to as the Burnt Offering Gospel. One of the animals used in this sacrifice typifying the Lord Jesus was the homing-pigeon – a pigeon whose instincts was ever toward home.
While on earth, the Lord Jesus did enjoy continual communion and fellowship with His Father. Yet, in a way that we cannot perhaps fully measure, He suffered at the very presence of sin and its effects all around and longed for the environs of heaven and His Father.
1. In verse 31, the Lord Jesus stated that “The Father is with Me.” He knew continual unbroken fellowship in His pathway. Think of how the Father must have felt when His Son was falsely accused, scorn, beaten, scourged, and then crucified. As a parent, have you ever watched your child suffer and not been able to ease their pain?
2. The Lord Jesus closes this chapter with the words, “I have overcome the world.” In chapter 14 He told His disciples that the Prince of this world had nothing in Him. He overcame Satan. Here, we read that He overcame the world. But notice that it never says He had to overcome the flesh. He was impeccable.