“You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe.” (John 14:28-29)
Scripture Reading – Philippians 2:6-11
If we’re honest, we have to admit that we look for situations that are advantageous to us. This is true even in picking a place of ministry. We think that we’ll go wherever God calls us and do whatever He wills, but in reality, we infuse God’s call with our self-interest. It seems spiritual to say that God has given me a burden for a certain ministry when, in fact, it’s our own desire that is leading us. That is why surrendering yourself to God is so important. Many times, our desires get in the way of God doing greater works through us.
Jesus repeated to His disciples that He was going away, but that He would come back again for them. This is not what His disciples wanted to hear. Their self-interest told them to hold on to Jesus. They enjoyed His company and they were greatly blessed to be a part of the amazing work that He was doing. Jesus’ departure would be a great loss for them personally. But, there was to be no negotiating with Jesus. He was leaving because He was going to obey the will of the Father regardless of what was best for Himself. And He didn’t obey begrudgingly, He did so with great joy.
We, too, should rejoice with Jesus, because His going away meant the Holy Spirit came. Now, we can do the greater works that Jesus wills for us to do. Jesus says we will rejoice, because we realize that the Father is greater than the Son. This doesn’t mean that the Son is lesser than the Father, the Son is fully God and equal to the Father. Instead, we should understand this phrase as simply a statement that the Father has the commanding role in bringing salvation to the world. In John 10:29-30, Jesus says that the Father “is greater than all.” Immediately following that statement, Jesus says, “I and the Father are one.” Jesus is teaching us that it was the Father who planned salvation from before the world was created. That is why we view Him as primary or greater. The Son submitted to the will of the Father by fulfilling the Father’s plan of salvation. This submission was an act of humility that lasted only for a time. Now the Son has returned to heaven and is worshipped with the Father as the Lord God Almighty.
There is a consequence that flows from the Father being primary. It means that we must be willing at every moment to surrender to His will. The Father is at work, through the Spirit, to bring the completed work of Christ to the world. He knows where workers are needed and sends them to these places. Even though it may seem that going there will lead to financial loss or greater family struggles, we are to rejoice because we have confidence in what the Father is doing. With all humility, we should accept the portion which God has prepared for us. Glorify His Name by believing His promises for your spouse and children. No matter what happens, we can have complete confidence that the Father is directing our lives, and great joy can be found in submitting to His will. Nothing else will ever bring the true satisfaction that our souls are longing for. Are you satisfied with the Father’s will for your life?