One of the unique claims of Jesus is that he has come down from heaven. No other prophet can make this claim. Implicit in this claim is that he is the only one who has seen and personally knows the Father (who is in heaven). Thus, the revelation of the Father’s nature that Jesus brings is far greater than any other revelation either before him or after him. The understanding that Jesus is one with the Father (clear very early on in developing Christian theology) further expresses the depth of knowledge of the Father that Jesus has. We can be sure that the knowledge Jesus gives us of the Father is of prime importance.

Jesus rather cryptically tells us that the Father desires that ‘he lose nothing of what has been given to him.’ Perhaps Jesus is referring here to his identity with the Father? In becoming one with us, human, Jesus loses nothing of his divinity! In fact, it is precisely this mix of divine and human that makes him capable of bringing salvation to all and thus giving a second meaning to the phrase we are looking at, namely, that no one is outside the ambit of the work of salvation; the Father has sent Jesus to bring salvation to all mankind and thus the desire of the Father is that all people be saved; that no one be lost to him.

The mission of Jesus is multi-layered; there are dimensions to it that are almost lost in the mystery of the depth of God’s love to us. John tries to put into words something of this mystery but cannot fully capture its whole meaning. Even the disciples of Jesus fail to fully understand the implications of his preaching. We need to constantly be open to the Spirit of God bringing enough clarity to our understanding so that we will not be working completely in the dark when it comes to our own faith response. Jesus mission and the nature of his relationship with the Father is not an easy thing to understand in its fullness. We can give initial words to it but we seem to be incapable of fully explaining it.

What is my understanding of the relationship between Jesus and his Father? It is more than that of father and son because the two are one – equal in all things, though different in their missions.

Holy Spirit, help me to understand the love the Father has for me so that I will be better able to respond to it.