My Father, Your Father

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

“We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with His son, Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:3)

Few passages of Scripture in the Old Testament allude to God as Father. One of such is; “Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” (Psalm 64:8) Otherwise, God was revered as God-Almighty, All-Knowing and Ever-Present. On multiple occasions though, He is referred to as Yahweh, Jehovah, El Shaddai, Adonai and Lord. Though He represented a father figure, the way He dealt with the nation of Israel, the thought never crossed their minds to address Him as Father.

After the Children of Israel left Egypt and were heading for the Red Sea, fear suddenly gripped them when they realised the Egyptian army was pursuing them. They panicked. However, when Moses consulted God as regards what steps he (Moses) should take, He ordered that they should keep moving ahead; “The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.” (Exodus 14:13-14)

What they witnessed that day instilled fear in them. Not only did God create a solid passageway through the Red Sea for them but He killed all the Egyptians who came after them. “That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. And when the Israelites saw the great power the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in Him and in Moses His servant.” (Exodus 14:30-31)

If today we are privileged and honoured to call God our Father, it is because His Son -- our Lord Jesus – taught us to pray to the Father addressing Him; “Father, hallowed be your name....” (Luke 11:2) If it had not been for our Lord Jesus we would not have been in a position to see Him as our Father. The privilege our Lord Jesus has extended to us has created that bond which entitles us to call Him Dad – “Abba, Father.” Christians are not afraid to call God Father because they can enjoy unhindered access to Him through prayer – an avenue made easy for us by His Son. We can talk to Him just as we would our earthly fathers. Most of all He listens.

Such access has nurtured closer ties with the Father who knows us by name. We can share with Him our ups and downs, our happy as well as our unhappy experiences. We resort to Him in times of trouble and difficulty and He always has time for us. We grow this relationship with faith in His Son and in His written word, the Bible. We bask in His declared love for us. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) 

It would take the Son to reveal the Father to us. He “... has made God known.” (John 1:18) Not until our Lord Jesus came to this world could we appreciate the Father fully. Painting the true picture of the Father our Lord Jesus has helped to bridge the gap of ignorance the Children of Israel (and now us Gentiles) had lived in. What was considered stringent laws for the Children of Israel in the wilderness turns out to be a gesture of love. Indeed the Ten Commandments were intended to safeguard the lives of the Children of Israel and preserve them from all danger and harm.

Our Lord Jesus declared: “No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made Him known.” (John 1:18) Not even the prophets through whom God communicated messages to His people could see Him, because no one can see God and live. (Exodus 33:20) In this quotation our Lord is saying that He is both God and Son and therefore his nature and character is like that of God the Father. By coming to the earth, God henceforth could be seen and touched.

Our Lord Jesus once talked about His Father’s house to His disciples and how that He was the Way, the Truth and the Life. “No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him.” (John 14:6-7) Then Philip, one of the disciples asked Him, “Lord show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” (John 14:8) Our Lord Jesus reacted thus: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been with you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. Don’t you know that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing His work.” (John 14:9-10)

What our Lord Jesus is saying is that to know Him is to know God. He is the physical, tangible and invisible image of God whom we can see and touch. All we need to know about God has been revealed in the person of His Son. In the book of Hebrews, chapter one, verse 3, it is written about our Lord Jesus, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful hand.”  The apostle Paul renders it this way. “He (our Lord Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” (Colossians 1:3)

Our Lord Jesus’ mission was to the whole world regardless of nationality, ethnic background, race, culture, language or belief. His message had a universal appeal. Yet, His own people did not believe in spite of all the miraculous deeds He performed - healing the sick and raising the dead. The Pharisees, members of the supreme religious body were up in arms against Him to the extent that they made sure that He was crucified. 

“I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you do not accept our testimony.” (John 3:11) Christ is the Father’s faithful witness.