Most of us know that SOS is a distress call, but for me it means something far more important than that.
Slave, Orphan or Son?
For most of my life as a believer in Jesus, I did not know that I had the mind of a slave and an orphan, not a son (or daughter). How tragic that there are many like me who live like slaves and orphans! We do not know that God has adopted us into His family and that we are now beloved sons and daughters of the Most High God.
Why are we ignorant of this important fact of our relationship with the Father? Is it perhaps because one of the central themes of the New Testament has been made peripheral. We have shifted the focus from what God has done in Christ for all eternity to what we think He has done for us now. What I mean by this is that we have obscured God’s eternal purpose for humanity by believing the lie that God wants us to be healthy, rich and famous now.
The message of salvation for the most part has been reduced to “come to Jesus. He will forgive your sins so that you can go to heaven when you die.” This leaves would-be believers thinking that they can continue to live as they always have, with the added benefit of a passport to heaven.
What the Bible actually says is a far cry from what many of us have been taught and what we believe. Why did Jesus come to earth? Many will reply, “To save us from our sins,” and they would not be wrong. However there is much more to His coming than just dying for our sins.
I believe that there are three main reasons why He came and everything He did falls under one of them. He came to reveal the Father, to reconcile us to the Father and to take us to the Father. The Apostle John got it right! After years of study, prayer and meditation, he wrote the Gospel of John, which the early church fathers called “the spiritual gospel”. It was his purpose to present Jesus to his readers as the Son of God.
John begins his story at the same point as Moses did in Genesis 1 – “In the beginning…” Just as God was in the beginning, so Jesus was with the Father in the beginning, fully involved in the work of creation with the Father and the Holy Spirit. He revealed Himself throughout the Old Testament era through His Word and His works but the people did not understand Him. Then He came in the flesh to be the perfect expression and revelation of the Father in a way that human beings can understand.
The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son who came from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).
The disciples were puzzled by Jesus’ words:
If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him (John 14: 7).
Philip’s response reveals the depth of his misunderstanding.
Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered, “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father?’ Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me?” (John 14:8-10a).
On the eve of His death, He prayed, “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of this world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word (John 17:6).
Why did Jesus come to reveal the Father? Throughout the history of God’s people, they had missed the heart of the Father. They needed to see Him in person, to hear Him, to watch Him, to recognise Him as their loving and perfect Father. They had so misunderstood who God was that their leaders killed Jesus for showing them the true nature of the Father. They knew God by many different names but the one name by which they did not know Him was “Father”. It was this name, representing the nature of God that Jesus came to reveal.
Tomorrow, we shall explore the implications of the name, Father, that was most precious to Jesus and by which He wanted us to know Him.
Scripture is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Have you read my first book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!
ISBN: Softcover – 978-1-4828-0512-3, eBook 978-4828-0511-6
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Watch this space!
My latest book, The Heartbeat of Holiness, will also soon be available.