Summary: the reality of being a father as told by God the Father

Ever been confronted with the question

" what’s God like?"

Now it’s not the sort of question that comes up very often but sometimes, just sometimes it might.

Maybe you’ve been walking down the street and someone come up to you asked this question.

Maybe it’s been at work over the smoko room table,

Or when you’ve been talking to you’re neighbor.

What’s you’re response been.

For Me - if I think about an answer it usually means I end out shrugging my shoulders and saying - " God is like....... .......God is like.........errrrr God?"

or maybe - if I give a clued up theological answer with all the jargon I’d end out saying -" well God is Like .............God?"

Put in a situation like this it’s hard to know what to say.

And when we have to think about an answer it’s often difficult to come up with one.

Our words often fail us.

If we didn’t think to much about an answer then we would probably just say "God is like a Father".


It’s funny that when we think about it

we will often stumble over what to say God is like.


Jesus on the other hand was quite deliberate in his talking about God.

So if we were to ask Jesus what God is like?

Jesus would give us a deliberate answer-

"God" he would say "is like a father."

At the time of Jesus, Jews also faced some problem about what to say God is like.

The Jews would often compare God to a King,

they had an earthly King so to compare God with a King was an obvious thing to do.

This image would have started to fade away though during the exile, and so by the time of the Roman invasion the God as King image must have been shattered completely, as they no longer lived under a Jewish Monarch of their own.

Instead they were a captive audience to the Roman Senate who abused them,

took away their land

and kept them powerless.

If Jesus had said God is like a king then we would probably join the Jews saying

"well if he’s anything like my king I sure would hate him!".


Today we face a similar problem,

Once upon a time to say God is like a Father was acceptable.

But in todays society there are a lot of fathers who have an awful lot to answer for

Before me and Maureen came to Auckland we lived in Thames and spent a lot of time working with youth there.

Not you’re normal kids that you see in churches though,

who have grown up there,

but kids that have grown up in broken homes,

spent time on the street,

and been in and out of institutions.

Most of these guys didn’t know what a good home was.

They certainly didn’t have good fathers.

To these guys a father had a whole different meaning.


He was the bloke who was banged up in prison for messing around with little boys.

The man who walked out on them to go and live with another man leaving them with nothing but unpaid bills and debt.

Or the man who can’t keep his hands to himself.

When I said last Sunday that I some times feel that fathers day should be renamed bastards day it was these guy’s I was thinking of.


Now I realise that not all fathers are like this

but these seem to be the ones we hear about most.

You can probably see then why to say God is like a Father does not have the same ring to it.

The follow up question to our answer that God is like a Father may then be

" No I’m serious about this tell me!

what’s God really like?

Because if he is anything like my father I sure would hate him?"

to talk about God as a father today seems almost laughable.


When Jesus said God is like a father

he was not talking about some patriarchal tyrant,

neither was he talking about a father that can’t keep his hands to himself,

and he certainly didn’t mean a father who has nothing better to say than shut up!

No the father that Jesus meant was something different.

Infact the words he used said it all.


If you can

try to imagine a young child being snuggled up in his

fathers arms,

wrapped in blankets

all warm

and safe in a loving embrace.

Now try to imagine what the child would say

----------- "daddy".

This word DADDY is what Jesus meant when he said ABBA.

That’s the kind of father that Jesus meant God was like.

A daddy loving,



and caring.


As a child

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