Rev. Mark H. Creech: the Heart of God, the Father

Before Jesus, God was commonly referred to in impersonal ways. He was largely understood by expressions such as the Creator, the Almighty, the King, the Judge, the Lord, and the Most High. Except for a few times in the Old Testament, where there are vague and halting references for God as Father, it is to Jesus whom we owe so much for bringing out this aspect of God’s person.

Jesus showed us that God is personal, like a wise, loving, tender, and watchful father. Jesus always used this form of address when praying. Furthermore, he taught us to pray the same way in the model prayer, saying, “Our Father, who art in heaven,…” (Matthew 6:9).

Interestingly, the word that Jesus used for “Father” was the very intimate Aramaic word, “Abba,” which means Daddy.

J. Wallace Hamilton writes, “There is no sermon [from Jesus] in which it [the word Father] does not appear. There is no prayer of his in which it is missed. The first record of his speaking is this: ‘Know ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?’ (Luke 2:49). The last word on the Cross was, ‘Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.’ (Luke 23:46).

Hamilton adds that when Jesus wanted to explain what God is like, when men sin and hurt themselves, he took this word “Father” and wove it into an incomparable, unforgettable story about a Prodigal Son – a story found in Luke 15:11-32 that is as much about an ever-loving benevolent Daddy as it is about a wayward son.

That story of the Prodigal Son is very meaningful for me because, in some ways, I lived it.

It was several years ago when I got angry with my father over perceived slights that we separated from each other and didn’t speak for a few years.

Then I found myself in unexpected circumstances, I became estranged from my older teenage daughter – sorely estranged – so strained was our relationship that she left home to live somewhere else.

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Source: Christian Post