"The Father loves the Son, and has entrusted everything to him." (John 3:35)
It’s difficult to tell people who are convinced about what they know… that it isn’t so! The apostles who stood before the Sanhedrin in today’s reading had been ordered to stop talking about Jesus, but they couldn’t see any reason to comply. They had given up everything to follow him. They knew who he was and why he had come. They had heard the news of his crucifixion, and then they saw him—alive! Nothing could convince them to stop spreading the good news. Peter the bold one says, “Obedience to God comes before obedience to men.”
In today’s Gospel, John the Baptizer bears testimony to the One who comes after him. About Jesus he says, "The Father loves the Son, and has entrusted everything to him." (John 3:35). Yes, the Father loves the Son, also because of His obedience to the Father’s will. "The Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it again….this mission I received from the Father" (John 10:17-18). St. Paul puts it so beautifully, “though he was in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God…but emptied himself talking on the nature of a servant. He humbled himself by being obedient to death, death on the cross” Philippians 4:6:8).
When Jesus prayed to God the Father for his disciples, it was evident that this divine love had existed in eternity, for he says, "Father… you loved me before the foundation of the world" (John 17:24). Jesus’ desire is that the world may know the love the Father has for the Son and for us. The Father’s love is eternal and Jesus loves us just the same. John 15:9-10 says, "I have loved you, [just] as the Father has loved Me; abide in My love [continue in His love with Me]. If you keep My commandments [if you continue to obey My instructions], you will abide in My love and live on in it, just as I have obeyed My Father's commandments and live on in His love." For us to experience this love, we have to believe in Jesus and obey his commandments.
"Anyone who believes in the Son has eternal life, but anyone who refuses to believe in the Son will never see life: the anger of God stays on him" (John 3:36). Faith is belief. To believe is to obey. "Belief is obedience to the utterance of God; disobedience is unbelief. Belief is thus defined as commitment to authority rather than a passive opinion." "The man who has accepted it has certified that God is truthful" (John 3:33). Believe it with all your heart, with all your soul, with all mind, and with all your strength. Believe it because "by believing you may have life in his name" (John 20:31).
"Holy Spirit, teach me to be an effective witness to the gospel of Christ. Give me the boldness of your first apostles!"