John's Gospel

The Way It Happened

John 5:19, The Nature of God

Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.

//Do you ever wonder if it’s possible to discern the nature of God? Might some theological stumpers—such as whether or not a God of love could condemn someone to eternal conscious torment—be easier to answer, if only we could get a handle on what God is really like?

I have yet to hear of anyone who experiences God as a god of vengeance, but for some reason, personal experience does not seem convincing enough for those who still picture God as a stern judge. For such people, I point out the following: Jesus, multiple times in the Gospel of John, insisted that he could be recognized as the Son of God because of his nature. Today’s verse is an example. If Jesus is compassionate and forgiving, then so must be God. If Jesus is vengeful and unforgiving, then so must be God.

So what is Jesus’ nature? Perhaps this verse will help you decide:

And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. –Luke 23:33-34

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2 Comments

  1. I do not thin that Heavenly father’s nature is vengeful. That ideal of G-d started in the Middle ages and has been perpetuated throughout the ages until the modern times. It’s tragic that it has been taught in Churches and religions today. It frightens people and causes many people to reject His gospel. In many revealed scriptures we are taught that G-d weeps for the sins of people. In His capacity to weep we find compassion. The nature of Jesus is indeed the nature of G-d who is the Father of all mankind. Just the very mission of Jesus shows us the importance of G-ds love for us. Maybe theology is not so important as just the idea of pondering the scriptures and allowing ourselves to listen to the voice of the spirit and learning of the Atonement where we can feel the love, which is the very nature of G-d, in our lives would be the best answer to your question.

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