Thursday, June 13, 2013

Knowing God as Your Father (Part 1)

I heard a touching story about a humble man whose young son had become very ill. After the boy had undergone an exhaustive series of tests, the father was told the shocking news that his son had a terminal illness. The boy had accepted Christ as his Savior, so the fatherr knew that death would usher him into Glory; but he wondered how to tell his son that he soon would die. After earnestly seeking the direction from the Lord, he went with a heavy heart through the hospital ward to the boy’s bedside. First he read a passage of Scripture and had a time of prayer with his dear child. Then he gently told him that the doctors could promise him only a few more days to live. "Are you afraid to meet Jesus, my son?" asked his father. Blinking away a few tears, the little fellow said bravely, "No, not if He’s like you, Dad!"

The Heart of the Father 
The father had emulated the Lord Jesus in such a way the he revealed the very characteristics of Christ to his son. This is exactly why the Lord Jesus came into the world. He came to reveal the heart of a loving God to a world that had turned their back on Him. But to those who believed in the Lord Jesus, to those who put their faith and trust in His finished work on the Cross, to them He gave the right to become children of God (Jn. 1:12). When the Lord Jesus became a perfect man without sin and walked here in this world He was not only provided a way back to a Holy and Righteous God, He was revealing the Father. In John 1:14 we read “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” Then a little latter we read, “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him” (Jn. 1:18). This term “in the bosom of the Father” could also be read “on the bosom of the Father” indicating a place the place of intimacy. It is present tense, meaning that while He was here on earth He was in the bosom of the Father. This term tells us of the nearness and deep attachment between the Father and the Son. It tells us of the communion between Father and Son where all the Fathers thoughts are reciprocated perfectly by the Son. Someone has said that the thought here is that the Son has His face turned inward enjoying the fullness of the Father’s love. There is no veil, no limited access, no measured intimacy, but only the fullness of perfect knowledge and perfect joy. Compare this with John 21:25, “And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.” Only the Father’s bosom could contain Him!

Why is this so important to us? Because the Lord Jesus reveal to us what the Father is! No one else can tell forth the Father as the One who knows all that there is in the bosom. Everything else flows out of this: In the Fathers bosom is the place of access, communion and endearment. It speaks of the Father’s heart! Out of this flows the truth of the Father’s name. The Lord could say, “I have come in my Father’s name” (Jn. 5:43). A name in Scripture speaks of character; our Lord fully manifested the Father’s character. In John 6:39 we learn that the Son found His strength and refreshment in doing the will of the Father. It was His food to accomplish that will and desire to finish that work (Jn. 4:34, 17:4, 19:30). The Lord Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand” (Jn. 10:28-29). Then we in Luke 23:46 we read that some of the very last words of the Lord were “Father into your hands I commit My spirit.” And in John 8:29 we see that the Lord was always aware of the Father’s presence when He said, “And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” The Lord Jesus knew He was going back to the Father and spoke of the Father’s house in John 14:2, “In My Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” All this is revealed by the Son and flows out of the bosom of the Father. The Lord Jesus came from the bosom of the Father so that He could take us back with Him, “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world” (Jn. 17:24).

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