Friday, June 14, 2013

Knowing the Father (Part 2)

The Revelation of the Father 
But right now the only place wounded people can find healing and hurting people can find help is in the embrace of the Father. Just as we were born into this world depending on our parents because we were helpless babies who need the assistance of their parents to survive, so each of us need experience daily the embrace and care of a loving Father. How is this possible? First of all we must know the Lord Jesus before we can know the Father. The Lord Jesus declared this right before He invites us to come to Him and rest in Matthew 11:28, He said, “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” In John 8:19 we read, “Then they said to Him, “Where is Your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also.” This came out again in a conversation with His disciples in John 14:7-11, “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.” He is the exact representation of the Father (Heb. 1:3).

Let’s look at some of the ways the Son reveals the Father:

He reveals His love. In Jeremiah 31:3 we read of Jehovah declaring to Israel, “Yes I have loved you with an everlasting love: Therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you.” We read of that same love in John 3:16, Romans 5:8, John 13:1. We hear the words of the Lord Jesus in John 16:27, “for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God.” Listen to 1 John 3:1, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God.” The Love God as loving Father is revealed in and through the Son!

The Son reveals the Father’s compassion. In Psalm 103:13 we see that God is a compassionate Father, “As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him.” God is picture as a compassion father in Luke 15:20 and He is called “the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort” in 2 Corinthians 1:3. As we read through the New Testament we see this compassion revealed through the heart of the Son. In Matthew 9:36 we read, “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.” This compassion moved Him to heal the sick, “And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick” (Mt. 14:14). 

The Son reveals that Father delights in us. The Psalms speak of God delight in His people, “The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy.” “For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation” (Ps. 147:11, 149:4). Proverbs 8: 30-31 speaks of the Lord Jesus prophetically and says, “Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him, rejoicing in His inhabited world, and my delight was with the sons of men.”

The Son reveals the caring heart of the Father. In Deuteronomy 32:10-11 the caring nature of God is described as a mother eagle tenderly caring for her young. In 1 Peter 5:7 we are encouraged to cast all our care upon this same Father that has been revealed to us through a relationship with the Son.

The Son reveals that we are brought into a friendship with God as our Father. Deuteronomy 33:12 describes the friendship God had with the tribe of Benjamin. That same friendship is enjoyed by us today through Christ. He declared, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.” 

The Son reveals that the Father relates to us intimately and calls us by name. Just as God has dealt with Job and even Israel as a nation (Job 29:4, Is. 43:1-2), He deals intimately with us through our Shepherd who said, “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own… My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (Jn. 10:14, 27).

The Son reveals the constant attention that the Father has toward us. God promised to be with Israel in Deuteronomy 31:8 and the Father has promised to be with us. David experienced the constant care of his God and had the confidence to declared, “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry (Ps. 34:15). In the same way, the Lord has promised never to leave or forsake us (Mt. 28:20, Heb. 13:5).

The Son reveals the Father as one who encourages His people. In Isaiah 41:8-13 God is seen as one who encourages His own and gives them strength to press on. The Lord Jesus did this very thing often with His own disciples. For example in Luke 12:32 we hear Him say, “Do not fear, little flock for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

The Son reveals the very patient nature of the Father. We are told in Psalm 102:8 that” the Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in mercy.” The Lord Jesus reveals this character of His Father throughout His life. In Matthew 11:29 He said, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Paul and Peter both described the Lord Jesus as gentle and patient (2 Cor. 10:1, 1 Tim. 1:16, 2 Pet. 3:9).

The Son reveals the Father as a guide and an instructor. God had said in Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with my eye.” In Isaiah 48:18 we hear Him saying the same thing to Israel. During His life, the Lord Jesus is seen as one who taught His followers, but even now is guiding and instructing us through the Person of the Holy Spirit. He promised, “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”

The Son reveals the Father as the great provider. In Psalm 23:1 we hear David declaring “the Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” In Psalm 34:8 David goes on to say “there is no want to those that fear Him.” Now the Lord has provide a way for us to ask for all that we have need of through prayer, “Until now you have asked nothing in My name, Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (Jn. 16:24).

The Son reveals the Father as the giver of good gifts. In Jeremiah 32:40-41, God is seen as One who desires to give good gifts to His followers. The Lord Jesus reveals this very thing in Luke 11:13 when He said, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” And in James 1:17 we read, “ Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”

The Son reveals the kind and forgiving nature of the Father. Throughout the Old Testament we read of the forgiving nature of God (Ps. 86:5, Jer. 9:24, Micah 7:18-20). The Lord Jesus revealed that the Fathers heart by providing a way for us to be forgiven, He Himself was that way (Eph. 2:7, Titus 3:4-5).

The Son reveals the Father as One who disciplines those He loves. God is often seen as correct those He loves (Jer. 46:26), and because we have a relationship with Him through the finished work of His Son He disciplines or train us as well (Heb. 12:5-11).


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