Know the Son to Know the Father — John 12:44-50

And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I speak, therefore, I speak just as the Father has told me (John 12:50—NRSV).

When we think of a commandment, we sometimes think of the Ten Commandments that the LORD gave Moses. We know that Jews and Christians have an obligation to obey the Ten Commandments because they are the Moral Law of God or Law of Love. We do not often remember that God the Father gave a commandment to His only Son before He sent Him into the world. Jesus served as a perfect example by obeying all the commandments of God. In John 12:49, we learn the special commandment that the Father gave Jesus was “about what to say and what to speak.” We know that the Father’s commandment was vitally important because Jesus told the crowd when He spoke to the masses for the last time that He came to save the world, and “on the last day the word that I have spoken will serve as judge” (John 12:48). Jesus spoke what His Father commanded Him to speak to save people from destruction. When Jesus declared that God the Father’s commandment is eternal life, we need to know what Jesus taught about eternal life. In John 17:3, speaking to His disciples, Jesus said, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” To “know” does not just mean intellectual knowledge. Jesus meant that eternal life involves a personal relationship with the Father and the Son based on knowing God as revealed in the Bible. In John 12:45, we learn how to know them both, for Jesus said, “Whoever sees me sees Him who sent me.”

Thinking Further

1. If you believe in Jesus, who did Jesus say you also believe in? If you see Jesus, who did Jesus say you also see?

2. How did Jesus come into the world?

3. Why did Jesus come in that way into the world?

4. On the last day, what will serve as judge of those who reject Jesus?

5. What commandment did the Father give Jesus? What did Jesus say about His Father’s commandment?

Discuss the above questions by making a comment
Study the International Bible Study Commentary
and Lesson on John 12:44-50

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