Monday, 17 January 2011

Eavesdropping on the Trinity

Have you ever thought of the Bible as an archive of divine conversations? For in Scripture, we have ‘on the record’ all sorts of things that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit say to each other and about each other – otherwise private conversations made fully available to the public!

One of the earliest records we have of such a conversation reveals a discussion between the Persons of the Trinity regarding the creation of humanity: “Let us make man in our image…” (Genesis. 1:26).

Fast forward quite a number of years and we see that during Jesus’ baptism, the Father says to His Son from heaven, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased” (Luke 3:22). And if you want to know what else the Father said to His Son, why not start with Hebrews 1, which is kind of like a quick reference guide to some other Father-to-Son verses in the Old Testament? You could use it as an index that points to the full content of the conversation.

And during Jesus’ life on earth, we’re told that “He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears” (Hebrews 5:7) to His Father. In Jesus’ prayers, we see God the Son pouring out His heart to God the Father—God pouring out His heart to God. Let’s just spend a few moments listening to the end of the longest recorded prayer of Jesus in the New Testament:

“I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” (John 17:20-26)

It was the night before Jesus was crucified and moments before His arrest. And yet, despite His own fears and terror at having to face God’s full fury against sin on our behalf, we see that it is concern for us that overflows out His heart to His Father in prayer.

No less amazing is the content of His prayer. It reveals the full extent of our salvation. Salvation is not about being kept at a distance, merely pitied and forgiven by the great Lawgiver. Our salvation means that we are brought fully into the very same relationship that Jesus has with His Father. We are children of God as much as Jesus is the Son of God. We’re given the very same glory that the Father gives to Jesus. We’re loved by the Father with the very same love that the Father has for the Son from eternity to eternity! The Father has sent the Son to share with us all that is His. This is the best news of the world. This is the heart of the gospel. This is what it means to be Christ-like!

Well, we’ve only listened in on a few conversations between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and explored the end of one very briefly. There’s so much more that each member of the Trinity says to each other! As with all Scripture, these have been revealed to help us understand, participate, and flourish in our relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit who delight to include us in the family conversations! So why not dive into the ‘archives’ and enjoy?


Anonymous said...

Nice little piece of writing. Of note, perhaps, is that it is likely that both Genesis 1.1 (Elohim) and Genesis 1.26 (let us ...) are being misunderstood in English. Elohim cannot be translated in trinitarian terms, and Genesis 1.26 is in the cohortative, and is in fact singular (see here:, and the various references/comments).

Simulator said...

Is this Jos as in Jocelyn D from All Souls? I looked at your website, and I think I made out the silhouette!