Today’s title occurs in only two passages in the New Testament. In John chapter 4, the Lord met the Samaritan woman at Sychar’s well. As a consequence of that meeting, and the subsequent testimony of the woman, many believed. The Lord tarried two days in Samaria and others came to the same saving faith and testified, ‘Now we believe … for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world’, John 4. 42. The words of the Lord had exposed the woman’s moral and spiritual condition. Words of such penetration and power could not go unheeded.
John’s testimony is not that he heard the Lord, although that was true, but that he had seen Him. He had observed the Lord’s movements and miracles. He had witnessed His power in the physical and spiritual realms, and that detailed observation of the public ministry of the Lord had left a deep impression upon the apostle. From that experience comes the continuing testimony ‘that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world’.
It seems appropriate that John should tell us that ‘the Father sent the Son’. The one who had worked so closely with his own father in their fishing business and who, in his time, had leaned upon the breast of the Saviour would understand something of the bond between the Father and the Son. The love that exists in the personal relationships of deity is at the heart of the Son’s redemptive work described in these verses. It motivated the Father to send and it moved the Son to come.
He came ‘to be the Saviour of the world’. But this does not merely describe what He came to do; it describes what He is in His character and person. He is the Saviour, and what scope there is to His work of salvation! It is not limited to the few, whether the chosen Jewish people or any other select group; it is available to all those estranged from God and under the dominion of sin and Satan.
For every believer, our relationship with the Saviour is assured. For John says, ‘he hath given us of his Spirit’. The Spirit of God is the proof of our abiding fellowship with the Lord.
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