When God Became “Father”

Ebola. ISIS. Wars and rumors of wars. Sex trafficking. Random violence. Broken hearts and shattered dreams.

Jesus promised that in this world we would have trouble but He also promised to be our anchor, our mighty overcomer, in the middle of it all. (John 16:33)

British Tomb, Israel. Photo Courtesy of Larry Mize
British Tomb, Israel. Photo Courtesy of Larry Mize

But sometimes, when the storm is fierce, we grow afraid and find ourselves questioning all we believe. Is it for real? Is it enough?

This week, I have been reading “The Prayers of Jesus” by Joachim Jeremias. In the first chapter, he discusses the subject of “God as Father”. Jeremias makes the point that many religions throughout history have envisioned their deities as fathers but Israel was something completely different.

Israel was unique because her relationship to God as Father was forged in the historical act of the exodus.

I was struck by the significance of the fact that no matter what Israel would face throughout her history, she could look back to the moment God adopted her. God demonstrated His fatherhood of of Israel when He redeemed her by His mighty hand from slavery in Egypt.

We too have such a moment. Whenever the world around us seems to dissolve into chaos we can look back to the moment of our great exodus from slavery, that bright shining point around which all other history turns. When we want to know about God’s heart for us, we look back to Calvary.

When Jesus met Mary Magdalene in the garden after His resurrection He had this message for His disciples-

Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father, Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'” John 20:17

In a world in which everything appears to be crumbling, this truth is “an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” (Hebrews 6:19)


3 Replies to “When God Became “Father””

  1. One of the earliest symbols of Christianity was an anchor. It is very comforting to think about him as our anchor and our rock when the storm rages around us. Thanks for the great post, it really made me think!

  2. Thank you for the beautiful reminder of my childhood. I’m so grateful to be a child of God, my Father.

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