Summary: Jesus is the Father's Son and communicates the Father to us.
Rev Dr Edgar Mayer; Living Grace Toowoomba Church; Message on Snapshots of Jesus 06 – The Father’s Son; Date: 7 February 10
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The Father’s Son
Jesus is the Father’s Son. This is what mattered most to him and this is what stirred up the most opposition among so many people. For instance, John 5:17-18 – I read from the Bible: “ … For this reason the religious people [original: the Jews] tried all the harder to kill him … he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal to God … ” This was at the heart of his mission. Miss his sonship and you miss everything. Jesus came to introduce us to the Father – our Father-God in heaven. One Bible book states in the very first chapter – John 1:18: “No one has ever seen God, but the only Son [Jesus Christ], who is truly God [himself] and is closest to the Father, has shown us what God is like” [CEV translation]. Jesus never tired of making this plain – John 6:46-47: “No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father … he who believes [in me] has everlasting life.” John 3:35-36: “The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.” John 10:30: “I and the Father are one.” John 10:38: “ … understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” John 14:6: “ … No one comes to the Father except through me.”
How are we traveling with this? Chances are that we are struggling with this core revelation of Jesus – the Son of the Father – (What is God like – as a Father?) because none of our fathers are perfect. You may have a really great relationship with your dad but the general statistics are against us. In our culture – far too often – fathers are absent. Long hours at the office make them cranky at home and when divorce strikes a family, dads become even more remote. Then there are problems with raising children – discipline – either it is too harsh or there is simply not enough care to give firm directions on anything. Further, according to one writer: “If you’re a young man and you’re not being admired by an older man, you’re being hurt.” “Not seeing your father when you are small, never being with him, having a remote father, an absent father, a workaholic father, is an injury.” “Between twenty and thirty percent of American boys now live in a house with no father present, and the demons there have full permission to rage” (Robert Moore). This is not good. Fathers – so many of them – are not coping with fathering. [They may not have been fathered themselves.]
It gets worse. Fathers even betray their calling. One resource Website in Queensland states: “Nowadays it is commonly accepted that: 1 in 6 boys is sexually abused before the age of 18. 1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before the age of 18. This is equivalent to 332,516 Queensland men having experienced child sexual abuse and the number is far greater for women” (http://www.livingwell.org.au/Home.aspx). Men (but not only men) – fathers even – are perpetrators of abuse. Then – to make this more radical still – in our culture – fathers – many of them – do not protect the unborn. As a whole we do not speak up enough. In Australia – every year about 100,000 babies are killed in the womb, that is: 2 aborted babies for every 5 born.
Therefore, what does it mean to us that – according to Jesus – God is our Father? What goes through your mind when you connect the words “God” and “father”? What do you think that he is like? We are now having a debate where numerous Christians say that God must not be called “Father” because this term is masculine, patriarchal, and oppressive to women – and men. So many people are struggling with Father-God. One pastor writes: “I thought ‘Jesus is OK, but watch out for God …’” (John Arnott: The Father’s Blessing, Orlando: Creation House 1996, p23).
Maybe you recognize this kind of logic: “God is an angry God who wanted to punish us because we are not good. But Jesus loved us and died to pay for our sins, so God had to let us go free. God would still like to get us, but he can’t, because Jesus keeps him from it. Jesus, our Saviour who loves us, saves us from God, the righteous Judge, who hates us” (Shirley C. Guthrie: Christian Doctrine, Atlanta: John Knox Press 1968, p91). Is this what we think? Many do – but it is not true. Jesus came to introduce us to the Father and he hammered the point that the Father was exactly like him – same will, same love, same compassion. Jesus said – John 10:30: “I and the Father are one.” John 14:9: “ … Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father … ” Therefore – just as Jesus loved us – the Father loved us: so much so that he bore the pain – endured the breaking of a Father’s heart – when he gave his Son Jesus to be a sacrifice for our sins.