I recently read an interesting article titled “The-Having-Sent-Me-Father: Aspects of Agency, Encounter, and Irony in the Johannine Father-Son Relationship”.
In the opening of this article the question is posed, “Is “The Father” portrayed as doing anything in John besides sending the Son?” It goes on to show the many other acts of “The Father” and answers the question by stating, “So, in answer to the question as to whether The Father in John does anything besides send the Son, the answer is: not much. Most of The Father’s actions in John are tied directly to the emissary mission of the Son, but this leads to the next question: What are the theological implications of such a presentation?”
The “having-sent-me-Father” legitimates the Son’s mission. To believe in the Son is to believe in the Father who sent Him-a response that entailed different things at different times in the evolving situation of the Johannine situation.
The theological significance of “the-having-sent-me-Father” and “the-having-sent-me-one” are shown in several verses throughout John. (5:23-24; 37; 6:44; 8:18; 12:49; 14:24) (1:33; 4:34; 5:30; 6:38-39; 7:16; 18; 28; 33; 8:16; 26; 29; 9:4; 12:44-45; 13:20; 15:21; 16:5). No fewer than 25 times in John, God is defined by aspects of doing as opposed to aspects of being, the most important of which is launching the mission of the Son. This observation suggests the Jewish sending motif rooted in Deuteronomy 18:15-22 is essential to understanding the function and identity of Jesus as “the Son” in John and likewise is essential in understanding God as “the Father” in John. The following table shows this relationship clearly: Table 1
Consider also the logos theology at the beginning of John. Not only does the Son convey the words of God, the Son is the Word of God-made flesh (1:1;14) in whom the glory of God is encountered. In the incarnation the word becomes flesh and dwells among humanity and in so doing plays out in narrative form the descent of the divine agent.
The “having-sent-me-Father” in John functions theologically to provide a bridge between the traditional past and the eschatological present, as the God who was and is becomes connected with the God who is doing and will be doing. “The Johannine Father-Son relationship, utilizing the Mosaic-prophet typology of Deuteronomy 18:15-22, presents the christocentric revelation of the Father as conjoined with the theocentric mission of the Son. In that sense, while the Father in John is the commissioning source and glorifying end of the Son’s redemptive mission, the Son is the revealing subject and representative agency by which the intended object of the Father’s love-the world- is reached.”