My Father (Matthew 11:27)

Photo by Sabine Ojeil on Unsplash

Jesus said, “No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the   Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”  It is the last part of that three-part statement that is most important for the Christian to consider; All that we know of the Father is revealed to us. Not by a thing or by a process, but by the person of Jesus Christ. 

Someone may well come to an understanding that God must exist because of the general revelation of creation. We look and see the incredible complexity and order of the created universe, and such is the inescapable conclusion; Order does not flow out of chaos. It flows out of design. But the existence of God – as wonderful as that is to know – is not the same as knowing God as Father. Even knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior is not the same as knowing God as our Father. 

Rev. Dr. David Chotka once pointed out that knowing God as Father would not have come naturally to anyone apart from Jesus. Writing in his book, Power Praying, David notes, “The word “Father” with reference to God is used only fourteen times in the entire Old Testament. Almost all of these instances are symbolic or metaphorical allusions to God (e.g., Psalm 103:13 [NASB], “As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him”). There are only two prayers in the entire Old Testament in which the one praying says “Father” with reference to God, and in that material it refers to God’s creation of Israel rather than a personal relationship (Isaiah 63:16; 64:8).”

The general revelation of creation is enough to know that God must exist. The specific revelation of the Scripture is certainly enough to know His moral law (Covenant) and our need for forgiveness as violators of His Covenant. By general and specific revelation we can know God as creator, God and King. But it is Jesus who opens our eyes to the reality of God as Father. 

It is Jesus and only Jesus who can reveal the depth of the love of God as our Father. It is Jesus who reveals how much the Father is willing to do to save His children. It is Jesus who reveals the Father’s forgiveness, the Father’s mercy and the Father’s plan of salvation and restoration for His children. It is Jesus who demonstrates and speaks of the Father’s care for His own. It is Jesus who reveals the full extent of the Father’s joy for those who return to Him. 

Many are those who know God as God, and even honor Him as King and Lord. But few are those who truly know God as Father. For to know God as Father requires that you first come to Jesus, and then in prayer ask Jesus to reveal God to you as your Father. That He will do, because to look upon the Son is to look upon the Father. As the book of Hebrews points out, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being.”

This is the great encouragement to all who have not grown up with a perfect father. Though our history and memory limits our understanding of what a father ought to have been to and for us, Christ is willing and able to yet reveal our perfect heavenly Father to us. We can know His care, His compassion, His grace, His long-suffering and His joy over us. We can experience His presence with us. We can rejoice in His love for us. Amen.   

We should approach God with the confidence of a small child approaching his or her father. Human parents sometimes neglect their children, but God never does.

Tokunboh Adeyemo

APPLICATION: Intentionality

Our God is our Creator. He is our King. He is our Redeemer, our Restorer, our Provider. He is also our Father, and He longs to have the kind of relationship a good, good father has with their child.