God as Father

The concept of God as father is hinted at throughout scripture but it is not seen as much in the Old Testament. God is the father of Israel because he has adopted Israel as his child. He is trying to raise his child even though the child is rebellious at times. Jesus is not called son of God until the New Testament because he is born on earth at the time. He calls God his father. We think of God as our father more from how Jesus relates to God rather the Old Testament. The gospel of John seems to especially use this concept of God as father and John pushes the idea that we are children of God. Children who act like their father. It is the best way to describe a relationship that goes deeper than obedience to law.
 
This special relationship with God as father is amazing when we think of the Creator of the universe being our father. The term has such a warm intimate feel that we are reluctant to think of God that way. We tend to remove him from us as someone to obey with a reason to fear. We focus on Old Testament punishment to enforce obedience rather than how Jesus talks about God as a loving father. If we took away the Old Testament stories how would our teaching about God be different?
 
Why did Jesus describe his relationship with God as a father? Father is the one who fixes things. He is the one who sees the mess you are in and helps you find a way out. He doesn’t always do it all for you. He leaves you room to learn and work so that you can figure it out. He praises you for doing it on your own. But we know we would not have been able to do it without his direction. But somehow, we feel a sense of accomplishment. God works in us through his Holy Spirit to do some amazing things.
 
The father sets the tone for the family. Jesus talks about doing the will of the father and acting on his initiative. Whatever he sees the father doing he is involved with also. The point is he sees the father doing things and he responds with his work also. We need to see what God is doing around us and be involved in that work. In that way we glorify God.
 
Terry
Friday June 11, 2019

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