Posted in IDENTITY

LIKE SON, LIKE FATHER


Dude!
You’re just like your dad!

Hopefully, you paid attention to the title of this article. It is not a mistake. I have titled it “Like Son, Like Father” for a reason.

That is a twist on what we normally say, isn’t it?

Like father, like son.

We’ve all heard and maybe even said that line.

What we mean is, “Dude! You’re just like your dad!”

We usually hear or say it when the son is doing something off-the-wall that reminds us of his father. However, it is often more true than the joke reveals.

It is especially true when we consider Jesus.

We have looked at the human side of Jesus and His ability to be tempted. But, what do we know of His divine side?

We probably don’t even think about it, but we believe that Jesus is just like His Father.

Guess what?!? He is!!

He is so much like the Father, that we are told we cannot know the Father except through the Son. …and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. [Mat 11:27c]

You have been chosen by the Lord to be able to know the true God. How do I know that? Because you are reading this concerning what the scriptures say about Jesus and the Father.

There are some things that we should understand about God the Father as we enter into this revelation of Jesus.

The first thing is that no one has ever seen God.

NO ONE HAS EVER SEEN GOD

No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known. [Jhn 1:18]

But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.”
[Exo 33:20]

Then the LORD spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of words, but saw no form; there was only a voice. [Deu 4:12]

No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. [1Jo 4:12]

 (God) who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. [1Ti 6:16]

Of course, Jesus is the exception. …not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. [Jhn 6:46]

Not only has Jesus seen the Father, but He has also shown us what the Father is like as we saw in the first scripture, Jn. 1:18—Jesus has made the Father known

This is an extremely important fact to recognize. It is Jesus who has shown us the Father and His nature.

It is Jesus, and not the OT.

Most of our thoughts about who God is, or what God is like, come from our reading in the OT.

We see Him as the people of old saw Him—vengeful, angry, judgmental, ready to swat you down like a fly if you step out of line.

QUESTION—is that how you view Jesus? Is He ready to exact punishment on anyone?

That may be what we have been taught, but is it the truth?
For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, [Jhn 5:22]

You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. [Jhn 8:15]

The same Greek word is used in all four instances of those two verses. It is used in a variety of ways in the Bible, and both Thayer and Strong agree with how it is used here
—passing judgment on the words or deeds of others.

The Father does not judge.
Jesus does not judge.

Why? Because the law of sowing and reaping is already and always at work.
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. [Jhn 3:18]

The word translated “condemned” is the same word we just looked at translated “judge.”

So, let’s try to eliminate the concept of “God’s gonna get you for that” from our thinking about God the Father. Instead, let us try to begin seeing the Father through the Son.

Like Son, like Father.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. [Col 1:15]

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, …
[Heb 1:3a]

In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. [2Co 4:4]

Jesus is the image, the exact representation of the Father.

Anything you believe about God must be able to be said about Jesus.

Jesus is the one who told the woman caught in adultery, “Neither do I condemn you.”

Jesus is the one who told the woman of Samaria that He knew all about her life, but He said not one negative thing to her.

Jesus is the one who told Zacchaeus that He wanted to have fellowship with such a scoundrel.

Jesus is the one who looked with pity on Peter when Peter had denied Jesus for the third time, and later asked Peter to take care of the others.

Jesus is the one who caught Saul in the act of dragging believers off to prison, and told him to go preach the gospel.

What have you done that is so much worse?

What has anyone done that excludes them from the love of Christ?

What has anyone done that should place them outside the mercy of God?

Even the OT tells us of God’s love. The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; [Lam 3:22]

There are many more, but we haven’t the time to go through them.

For some reason which I do not completely understand, we have chosen to focus our thoughts, our interpretation, our concepts of God on the verses of the Bible which seem to showcase God’s anger.

Yet, we have left out anything which would contradict that negative image.

Rather than argue whether that is true, all we need to recognize is that there is a difference between the Old and New Covenants.

Jesus brought us the New covenant, which is entirely different from the Old.

He also brought us a new understanding of the Father, which is entirely different from the old. Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? [Jhn 14:9]

Jesus has shown us the Father. Everything that Jesus was or is, is what the Father is. Anything that does not fit a description of Jesus cannot fit a description of the Father.

There are only three places in the Bible where we are told specifically who/what
God is.

God is merciful [Psa 116:5]
God is spirit [Jn. 4:24]
God is love [1 Jn 4:8]

The first is an attribute, an aspect of His character.

The second is His being.

The third is His nature.

His nature is love. Anything outside of love is not God. Any concept of God that negates love is not of God.

Jesus came to give us the true understanding of God the Father.

If you can see Jesus, you can see the Father.

Like Son, like Father.

Posted in IDENTITY

JOSHUA

About 20 years ago (2002), I decided to become a Special Ed teacher.

I had been substituting for almost a year, and I would often be a sub as an assistant for the severely handicapped, or for the teacher in a learning disabled classroom.

After I had a few classes under my belt, I put my resume out to a few schools in the area. I received two calls for an interview—both took place the same day.

I was hired for both positions. One was as a teacher’s aide, which was to start immediately, and the other was as a classroom teacher to begin the following school year.

As the aide, I was given charge for one little boy named Joshua.

Joshua was severely disabled in many ways. There was not a single tooth in his little head that pointed in the normal direction—and he only had a few of those.

He was a nine-year-old with the mentality of a three-year-old. He had the gait of Gollum (Lord of the Rings). That gait, though, did not slow him down. He loved to run away, which he did often—until I came along. He ran only once while I had charge of him.

He also had a reputation for biting, which he did to me only once.

I incorporated a different method for dealing with Joshua than what the books and regulations called for.

However, that is not the story here.

One day, as I was driving the 35 miles to the school, I was praying for Joshua.

Can you see My perfection in Joshua’s imperfection?

All of a sudden I heard (it was as if I heard a voice in the car), “Can you see my perfection in Joshua’s imperfection?”

As the tears welled up in my eyes, I had to pull over.

The question cut me to the quick.

I had built my life around my ability to judge others, and Joshua was far from perfect. But, not in God’s eyes.

God sees His creation as perfectly good—scars, warts, and all.

From that day until now, I am still unravelling the mystery of God’s perfection in all things; and I cry (as I am now) every time I think about the day God showed me His love for all His creation.

And, as many teachers do, I cried the last day of school as I watched Joshua get on the bus with my heart and his crooked-tooth smile of joy.