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Mediator?


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In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I will request of the Father on your behalf; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father.

—John 16:26–27

In this passage Jesus seems to deny his role as mediator, saying, “I do not say to you that I will request of the Father on your behalf.” Calvin offers his explanation of this confusing statement:

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In that day you shall ask in my name. He again repeats the reason why the heavenly treasures were then to be so bountifully opened up. It is, because they ask in the name of Christ whatever they need, and God will refuse nothing that shall be asked in the name of his Son. But there appears to be a contradiction in the words; for Christ immediately adds, that it will be unnecessary for him to pray to the Father Now, what purpose does it serve to pray in his name, if he does not undertake the office of Intercessor? In another passage John calls him our Advocate, (1 John ii. 1.) Paul also testifies that Christ now intercedes for us, (Romans viii. 34;) and the same thing is confirmed by the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, who declares that Christ always liveth to make intercession for us, (Heb. vii. 25) I reply, Christ does not absolutely say, in this passage, that he will not be Intercessor, but he only means, that the Father will be so favorably disposed towards the disciples, that, without any difficulty, he will give freely whatever they shall ask. “My Father,” he says, “will meet you, and, on account of the great love which he bears towards you, will anticipate the Intercessor, who, otherwise, would speak on your behalf.”

Besides, when Christ is said to intercede with the Father for us, let us not indulge in carnal imaginations about him, as if he were on his knees before the Father, offering humble supplication in our name. But the value of his sacrifice, by which he once pacified God toward us, is always powerful and efficacious; the blood by which he atoned for our sins, the obedience which he rendered, is a continual intercession for us. This is a remarkable passage, by which we are taught that we have the heart of the Heavenly Father, as soon as we have placed before Him the name of his Son.

—John Calvin, Calvin’s Commentaries Volume XVIII (Baker Books, 2009), Commentary on the Gospel according to John, 2:157–158.



Posted 2014·12·01 by David Kjos
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Posted in: Calvin’s Commentaries: John · Christology · Gospel of John · John Calvin · The Trinity

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