Summary: As my EVERLASTING FATHER, Jesus gives me acceptance and approval.
Who Is This Jesus?
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
December 18/19, 2004
Jesus the Messiah lives up to his title of everlasting father by caring for us and training us in the ways of righteousness, and the title of prince of peace by making us whole again through his sacrifice.
What’s in a name?
If your name was Superman would you expect to get picked on? Swedish tax authorities thought so and declined a request by Sara Leisten to name her newborn son after the superhero. The officials were following legislation giving them veto power over names. They nixed Staalman (Superman) citing its potential to attract ridicule later in life.
The decision prompted complaints of inconsistency in applying the law. Previously, names such as Batman, Tarzan, and Bebben (after a soccer star) have been permitted. Other names refused were Bajen (a soccer team) and Asterix.
The boy’s parents wanted this name for their son because he was born with one arm pointing skyward, posed in the way Superman flies. Leisten plans to re-apply, this time with the name Staalmannen (The Superman). If it is approved, one thing is clear, little Superman would have a name he can never live up to.
What about Jesus? Can he live up to his name? As we learned last week, his name “Y’shua” in the Hebrew – means “The LORD saves”. And as Isaiah wrote about him 700 years before his birth, “He shall be called wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting father, prince of peace.” Can any human being live up to such titles? Only one in the history of the world. The man Jesus Christ.
Let’s look at the 3rd and 4th titles today: everlasting father, prince of peace.
Remember last week we discovered that we can lean upon the guidance of Jesus as our wonderful counselor, and we can trust in his power as our mighty God to bring us through even when circumstances look bleak. What does it mean that he is our EVERLASTING FATHER?
Many of us don’t have a very good image of father. The one we had might have been anything but “everlasting” – possibly temporary is more like it.
But here we’re told that whoever we are, the Messiah will be called “Everlasting Father” to us. He will be there. Forever. And he will not follow the pattern of brokenness that so many of our fathers passed onto us. As our everlasting father he will do what fathers are called to do: provide for us, watch over us, and yes even discipline us.
What is the one thing I want from my father. I want approval. I want him to be proud of me. Even as a 35 year old, I still hunger for words of affirmation from my earthly father. And I’m one of the lucky ones who regularly heard growing up that my father was proud of me. (But I still long for it. How much more must people who never heard the words “well done” from their fathers??)
As my EVERLASTING FATHER, Jesus gives me acceptance and approval.
In Jesus I find acceptance and approval.
With the woman at the well (John 4) he knew all about her sin but befriended her anyway.
The woman caught in adultery (John 7) – he said “neither do I condemn you”
About himself he said John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
He is not waiting for me to “perform”. He does not withhold his love from me for some sort of “trial period” to see if I’m worthy of his love. No – he loves me. And he lavishes His love upon me. But I’m not special. He loves every one of you, too. He lavishes his love upon all of you!
And he whispers in my ear – “Keep going! I’m proud of you. You’re going to go far! I see great things in you.”
Your father may or may not have ever given you such affirmation – but you can find it in Jesus Christ!
ILLUS: Bumper sticker “God loves you but I’m his favorite.” At one level this sounds prideful – but on another level I think each of us needs to understand that it’s true for each of us.
God, the creator of the universe, was so crazy about you that he sent his very best – his only Son, in the form of a little baby – to pay the penalty of your sins and make it possible for you to have a relationship with Him. He loves you. In fact he’s crazy about you. And some of you need to hear that today.
But there is another side to him being our everlasting father – he also gives discipline to those whom he loves.