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The last part of John 17:23 says

Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

Does that mean the Father loves believers in the same way and to the same extent as he loves Jesus?

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  • You have simply re-stated the text in different words. 'even as you have . ..' as against 'to the same extent . . . '. I think you need to define what you wish to know about the text itself, in heremeneutical terms.
    – Nigel J
    Sep 29 at 10:02
  • What reason is there for not thinking it means what it says? Sep 30 at 2:46

1 Answer 1

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John 17:23

"I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one , so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me". ESV My emphasis "kathos/even as".

Strong's "kathos" -"according to the manner in which".

Helps Word-studies "kathos"-"corresponding to fully".

I suggest that there are two possibilities here:

A. The Father loves the Son in a unique way. This is only similar to the Father's love for belivers, but in some ways is not absolutely identical.

B. The Father's love for Jesus is absolutely identical to His love for believers.

A. John 3:35

"The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand".

John 10:17

"For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again".

For further examples of the Father's unique love for His Son see also e.g. John 5:20 and Matthew 17:5.

B. Ephesians 1:6

"to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved".

As belivers are in Christ therefore the love of the Father for both is inseparable.

John 17:23

"I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one..".

The Father, the Son and belivers in perfect unity.

The Father's love for His Son Jesus is the same as His love for belivers in that both have "His love".

1 John 4:14

"And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world".

Even if "His love" for both is the same He loves in different ways. For Jesus it was not necessary for the Father to send a Saviour, but for belivers it was necessary. Indeed Jesus was that perfect Saviour. The Father does not love His perfect Son in the same way that He loves redeemed belivers.

It is the same love expressed differently. [Or so it appears to me from these verses].

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