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Faith is By Choice An LDS Faith Blog

Selections from the Book of John

March 11, 2016
Selections from John

The book of John contains many important truths the Savior taught us about his Father.  We learn about the close connection and relationship of the Father to his Son.  There was no one on this earth who had a closer relationship to God than Christ.  Who better to teach us about Him? These are just a few key statements pulled from the book of John:

Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. (John 4:34)

To the Scribes and Pharasees he said,

For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth... (John 5:20)

And also: 

...He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, (John 5:23-24)

And again:

And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. 
And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.  (John 5:37-38)

By seeing the evidence of their unbelief in Him, Jesus could tell these learned Jews - these scriptural scholars and academics – had not God's word abiding in them.   What does it mean to have his word abiding in us?   Are we familiar with God's words?  Do we treasure the things that He has spoken?  He preserved these holy scriptures through thousands of years that we might have his word.  This word should abide in us.

If the Jews really treasured the words of God, they would have recognized and believed His only begotten Son. To them he further said:

And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. 
I receive not honour from men. 
But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.  (John 5:40-42)

Why do men not come to Christ?  Why does God's son receive not honor from men?  Because they do not know God, and they do not have a real love for God in their hearts.  Because of this, they are unable to even recognize his Son.  They also (by the way) do not recognize His true prophets. 

The Jews asked him,

"...What shall we do that we might work the works of God?
Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent."
  (John 6:28-29)

And further:

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
(John 6:37-38)

Any and all that come to Christ will be saved.  He casts off none that will come to him.  Later, when the Pharisees again challenged him, Jesus taught them:

"Ye neither know me, nor my Father: If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also."  (John 8:19)

What is the Father like?  He is like the Son.  They are exactly alike.  If we wish to know what God our Father is like, how he thinks, what his character is, what his attitudes and attributes are, we would do well to study Christ - for He is exactly like his father.

Again to the hypocritical Pharisees he said:

"If God were your Father [that is to say, If you accepted him as your Father], ye would love me; for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
Why do ye not understand my speech?  even because ye cannot hear my word.
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do..."
  (John 8:42-43)

And just a couple more:

For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say and what I should speak.
And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.
  (John 12:49-50)

If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also...
Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.
   (John 14:7-9)

Early in the Book of Mormon, Nephi comments about his brothers' tendency to murmer and complain against their father.  As the story unfolds we see they eventually choose not not to believe or follow the path of righteousness.  They had seen great miracles, had seen an angel, they had seen the Liahona in operation, they helped Nephi build a ship and witnessed being led safely across the ocean.  They had witnessed God's power in Nephi, and even heard the voice of God speaking to them on one occasion.  Yet they did not choose righteousness.  Why?

Perhaps for more reasons than one.  Perhaps they simply did not wish for it to be true.  Perhaps they were lazy, and carnal and sought a life of ease and luxury.  They did not want to live a life of faith, or obedience.  They were stubborn, they wanted to be given everything but not have to work for anything.  Nephi also observed that they murmered because "they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them." (1 Nep. 2:12).   God was a stranger to them.  He was "far from the thoughts and intents of their hearts" (Mosiah 5:13).

So in contrast we should strive to draw closer to God in our thoughts and intents each day. Our hearts can be more fully drawn out in prayer, and we can work to strip ourselves of pride and envy (Alma 5:27-29).  I truly hope that we can each strive to draw closer to the Father.