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John 6:35-40
Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." (ESV)
The Will of God
9 October 2015
Personal relations among humans is an ongoing discussion. Why? Because our wills are never perfectly united. Our perverted hearts and minds lead to conflict ever and always. And our perversion leads us even to presume that the other person is the cause of the conflict: "I am right. You are wrong." Such a statement is false and foolish on the face of it; and yet we catch ourselves saying precisely these words at the most inopportune times. The simplest family issue must be a matter of discussion, so that we can be sure that everyone involved actually understands the issues that are at stake. After we are reasonably sure we are all talking about the same thing, then we need to commence the negotiations that will lead to a God pleasing resolution which everyone can support. After this has happened then we must bend our will to that end which has been agreed to in the process. And even then there is plenty of opportunity for getting at cross purposes. My wife and I often marvel how easily this happens in our relations with one another, despite long years of practice in marriage.
Occasionally, I have heard from couples that they never quarrel. My take is simply: "Uh huh." I doubt that any such thing could possibly occur. Two human wills could never be so united that there would never be any conflict between them. In fact, sometimes newly married couples reach a crisis moment in their relationship when they have their first major blow up, concluding (wrongly) that they really don't love each other because they have quarreled. No, they only have discovered that two human beings in the close relationship of marriage will have clashes of human will.
So what is going on when Jesus prays to His heavenly Father in the garden: 'My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will' (Mt 26:39)? It is expressing in negative terms the fact that His will was fully conformed to the will of His Father. It was not expressing any possibility of being deflected from the cross and its suffering. For the one who speaks this way is theanthropic person. He does not speak as one nature and the other, but as a single person whose will is always conformed to the will of His Father. After the incarnation, there is no time when He acts outside of the personal union of the two natures. There is no "inside" and "outside" of the person of Christ. It is this person whose will is conformed to the will of His Father. Jesus does not think of any other way of acting. The will of the Trinity is that the world should be saved through the suffering and death of this man who is God


Gregory of Nazianzus

"The Son came down from heaven, not to do His own will, but the will of Him who sent Him (Jn 6:38). If this would not have been said by Him who came down, we would say that the phrase was modeled as issuing from the human nature, not from Him who is conceived of in His character as the Savior. For His human will cannot be opposed to God, because it is altogether taken into God. If it would be conceived of simply as in our nature, inasmuch as our human will does not completely follow the divine will, for the most part it struggles against and resists it. For we understand in the same way the words, 'My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will' (Mt 26:39). For it is not likely that He did not know whether it was possible or not, or that He would oppose will to will.
"Since this is the language of Him who assumed our nature (for He it was who came down), and not of the nature which He assumed, we must meet the objection in this way, that the passage does not mean that the Son has a special will of His own, beside that of the Father. Therefore, the meaning would be, "not to do My own will, for there is nothing of my own apart from that which is common to Me and You, Father. For as We have one Godhead, so We have one will." For many such expressions are used in relation to the inter-Trinitarian communion, and are expressed not positively but negatively." 

Gregory Nazianzus, Third Theological Oration, 12
O Holy Trinity, from eternity Your will was united. That will focused on our desperate need and put into action through the incarnation of Your only-begotten Son. Grant us the faith to confess that His will is Your will. Amen.
For Jo Lodholz, who is having health issues, that the Lord would care for her with all His gifts
For Rebecca Junker, that she would be strengthened in body and soul
For Brian Kollmorgen, that he might be relieved and healed
Art: Dürer, Albrecht  The Adoration of the Trinity (1515) 

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