THE FATHER'S FACE
"'Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father Himself loves you because you have loved me and believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.'" John 16:25-28 NIV.
Slowly, gradually, little by little, Jesus was acclimatising His disciples to the truth that, just as He had an intimate relationship with the Father, so they were moving towards the same close fellowship with God as His beloved sons. This was a foreign idea to them because they were nurtured in the misguided religious notion of a strict God who gave them rules to keep and who came down hard on them when they stepped out of line.
Jesus was passing on the legacy of sonship to them; exactly the same status and relationship that He had with the Father was theirs because they loved and believed in Him and acknowledged that He had been sent from and by the Father. His primary mission was to show them the heart of the Father so that they could enjoy the same bond with the Father as He had.
This is a truth that many so-called believers have not grasped. The world is an orphanage and not even the church, to a large extent, has realised and embraced the truth that we are God's beloved sons and daughters. We are not only a fatherless world and an orphan generation but also a fatherless church which, like the elder brother of the lost son, is still trying to impress God by our performance rather than live in the freedom of the Father's love in the Father's house.
How difficult it is for us to grasp that we share the same status as Jesus in the sight of God! The same love that Father has for Jesus is His love for us because we have been placed in His family as Jesus' brothers and sisters.
"In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what He suffered. Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters." Hebrews 2:10, 11 NIV.
Who better to reveal the Father than the one who shares His nature and who existed with Him before He entered the world? Although it was difficult for the disciples to grasp, in the beginning, what Jesus had told them, over and over, about Himself -- who He was and where He came from -- eventually, after being with Him for three and a half years, listening to Him and watching Him in action, they began to realise that He was no ordinary human being but the one He said He was, the Son of God who came from the Father.
The enemy has launched a relentless campaign against fathers and children; free sex has led to single mothers trying to raise children without fathers; child abuse has alienated fathers and children and bred suspicion in the hearts of children towards men in general and fathers in particular. Divorce has ripped families apart, breaking hearts, driving fathers from their children, leaving them abandoned, defenceless and without security and identity -- angry children venting their anger on the world.
The ministry of the second Elijah, John the Baptist, was to reconcile fathers and children, or else the world would be destroyed; and the world is now living out the destruction cause by its orphan status.
"See, I will send the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction." Malachi 4:5, 6 NIV.
The only true Father who can bring us back to sanity in His love is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who was sent to reconcile the world to Himself and rescue us from our insecurity and abandonment so that He can take us back to the Father.
"See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it does not know Him." 1 John 3:1 NIV.
"The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him we cry, 'Abba, Father.' The Spirit Himself testifies that we are God's children." Romans 8:15, 16
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