[Excerpts from “When You Pray Say, ‘Our father'”]
“When you pray, pray ‘our Father’”, this is the declaration that Jesus makes to His disciples. Although I don’t want to build a religion around this, I do believe that Jesus was releasing His disciples into a new kind of relationship with God. Although the role and function of a Father was firmly established in the Old Testament throughout Judaism, this is considered to be a new level of relationship with God. If you think back on God’s dealings with Abraham, He told him that He would make him a father of many nations. Never once did God tell him that He would be Abraham’s father. God first established the role that He desired to fill through this man of faith and then sent His son Jesus to introduce the role to us.
Never before had the people conceived the idea of referring to God as Father. If you recall, the Jews wouldn’t even speak God’s name; to consider Him as someone as common as a father was basically unimaginable. They had referred to God by many titles including; Adonai meaning the Lord; Elohim, meaning the all-powerful one; or Jehovah, meaning “I Am” or the All Sufficient one. None of these titles revealed the intimacy of what Jesus was showing us by calling God “Father”. Jesus came to introduce God as our Heavenly Father, and for this, the Jews wanted Him dead and considered Him blasphemous!
Jesus had lived in this kind of relationship from the beginning of time, even as the Gospel of John states,
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” John 1:1-2
He had always been with God, and had always understood His God relationship. He was clearly able to understand this concept of God as Father. He had lived as a son; all that He had ever known was God as a Father. The Father had even claimed Him as a son, for He said,
“This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17
God’s first public acknowledgement of Jesus was that of His Father, and not just a Father from whom He had come, but one of a loving Father/Son relationship that caused Him pleasure. This one statement set the tone for Christ’s ministry and His work in the earth. This declaration emanated from His Heavenly Father and propelled Him into His purpose on the earth.
This is why the revelation of God as our Father is released from Christ himself. He alone was the one purposed to introduce us to this wonderful relationship. He had experienced this relationship in its fullness and now had come to make it possible for us to partake of it with Him. We see this clearly as Jesus prays, He says,
“I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” Matthew 11:25-27
The ministry of Jesus is reflective of the fact that He came to bring the people closer to the Father. He held the right and purpose to reveal God to us as a Father. It was His job to introduce Him in this intimate light with all of the revelation that came with that relationship. Jesus understood this deep intimacy and now brought this truth to His disciples. Because of the ministry of Jesus, man could now see God in a new light as Father. It is always God’s heart to reveal new levels of truth to us, remember the scripture says,
“behold I will do a new thing shall ye not know it?” Isaiah 43:19
What a wonderful way to bring the disciples into sonship by allowing a true Son to teach them how to be sons. It is through our relationship with Christ, that we better understand God the Father; and the only way to the Father God, is through His Son Jesus the Christ. The declaration of Christ is that the Father holds and releases the revelation of the Son and that the Son is the one who holds and releases the revelation of the Father. John 14:6 records this,
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Jesus becomes the very revelation and giver of the revelation of God as Father. John 16:25-28 Jesus says,
“These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father. At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.”
Jesus makes it plain that although He shares this very personal relationship with God the Father, it is not something that He will mediate for us. He says plainly that He will not pray to the Father for us because God the Father loves us himself and desires that we pray directly to Him, as Father. Jesus’s role is to make this relationship possible for us; to introduce us to the concept and then bring us to the Father and make it possible for us to become sons.