Don’t Make Jesus More of a Mediator Than He Is

One of the last sweet gifts from our Father while we were on leave was his reminder not to make his Son more of a Mediator than he is. Jesus said:

In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father himself loves you. (John 16:26–27)

“I do not say that I will ask the Father on your behalf.” In other words, I’m not going to insert myself between you and the Father, as though you can’t go to him directly. Why? “Because the Father himself loves you.”

This is astonishing. Jesus is warning us not to think of God Almighty as unwilling to receive us directly into his presence. By “directly” I mean what Jesus meant when he said, “I am not going to take your requests to God for you. You may take them directly. He loves you. He wants you to come. He is not angry at you.”

It is absolutely true that no sinful human being has any access to the Father except through Jesus’ blood (Hebrews 10:19–20). He intercedes for us now (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25). He is our advocate with the Father now (1 John 2:1). He is our High Priest before the throne of God now (Hebrews 4:15–16). He said, “No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

Yes. But Jesus is protecting us from taking his intercession too far. “I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father himself loves you.” He is there. He is providing an ever-present, ever-living witness to the removal of the Father’s wrath from us.

But he is not there to talk for us, or to keep us at a distance from the Father, or to suggest that the Father’s heart is guarded toward us or disinclined to us—hence the words, “Because the Father himself loves you.”

So, come. Come boldly (Hebrews 4:16). Come expectantly. Come expecting a smile. Come trembling with joy, not dread.

Jesus is saying, “I have made a way to God. Now I am not going to get in the way.” Come.

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.