Still working through Owen’s Communion with the Triune God:
Why does Jesus say in John 16:26-27, “I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father himself loves you,” when he has already said in John 14:16, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever”? Why does he say he won’t pray to the Father for us when he’s already said he would? Because the Father already loves us, says Owen– there is no need for Jesus to ask him to love us.
Take no care of that, nay, impose not that upon me, of procuring the Father’s love for you; but know that this is his peculiar respect toward you, and which you are in him: “He himself loves you.” It is true, indeed (and as I told you), that I will pray the Father to send you the Spirit, the Comforter, and with him all the gracious fruits of his love; but yet in the point of love itself, free love, eternal love, there is no need of any intercession for that: for eminently the Father himself loves you. Resolve of that, that you may hold communion with him in it, and be no more troubled about it. (109)
Don’t buy for one minute the idea that Jesus has to persuade his angry Father to forgive us. The love of God the Father is the reason Jesus came in the first place. While we were dead in sins and trespasses, his love for us was so great that he planned to rescue us from his own wrath, at great cost to himself.
The love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star and reaches to the deepest hell.
The guilty pair, bowed down with care, God gave his Son to win;
His erring child he reconciled, and pardoned from his sin.
O love of God, how rich and pure! How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure, the saints’ and angels’ song.