"Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves."
Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)
CHRIST WAS AMAZED when the disciples asked to see the Father, because the Father is in the Son and the Son is in the Father. When the Son speaks or acts, it is the Father who is speaking or acting, because the unity between the Father and the Son was the unity of one being, one expression and one work. This perplexed the disciples because they did not yet know that the Father and Son are one God in speech and action. What one does is done by the other at the same time with no difference in degree of presence or time. The unity is divine, above any description or definition, so when the disciples saw the Son they saw the Father in him also, with both equally present in space and time. This is the divine unity which is above the mental capacity of man, and so it requires faith alone.
It is clear that the words of Christ are the words of God, and the work of Christ is the work of God. This raises the position of faith and greatly increases its value. This is the miracle of divinity and the miracle of the age. It makes our faith in Christ and the Father faith in the one God. When Christ completed the mission of redemption assigned to him by the Father, he prepared to go to the Father, leaving the disciples in the hands of the Father and in his care. The work of the Son was in obedience to the Father. Christ had no conflicting will or desire, for his was the will and desire of the Father. So the Father rejoiced in the Son’s completion of obedience, which was credited to humanity’s account. From the perspective of its work accomplished and its purpose, the cross was fundamentally the cross of man. The cross was the cross by the will of God and the obedience of the Son, so when Christ gives his true and practical command to “take up your cross and follow me,”1 it is man who benefits because of the divine mystery within it, and it is added in its entirety to the account of a sinner turning back to God. So the cross is our faith, our truth, our joy, our strength, our salvation and our glory, until death and beyond.2
In the world there is nothing that can fill the void within man and prepare him for eternal life except the cross. Though in the cross there is suffering, hardship and persecution in the world, with God it is glory, love, adoption, election and the comfort of an eternal home. All of this is not bound by time as it is in the world, rather, it exists continually and eternally, forever multiplying within itself, never ending, decreasing or changing, but going from glory to glory without end.
Among the works, sayings and commandments of Christ, what we find most amazing is that the glories of heaven which he prepared for us and will soon come to take us there, is that he did not place on man any burdens or demands in order to receive it. What he does ask is faith from a sincere heart and true hope that is not shaken. Those who preceded us are witnesses to this, and the Holy Spirit testifies of Christ and the divine truth. From heaven he pours upon the evangelist strength and a good testimony in their proper time, which is credited to man as righteousness freely given to all who suffer as a result of testimony or loss. Evangelism on earth wins a heavenly inheritance of the riches of Christ that cannot be measured.
July 27, 2005
1 See Luke 9:23.
2 See Gal 6:14.
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