Why are we so reticent to call God “Father” these days? If Jesus did it, then why don’t we?
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John 10:32 Jesus replied, "I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these are you going to stone me?"
In this politically correct world, we often forget how radical and dangerous it was for Jesus to call God “Father.” The Jews of His time were outraged because He dared to declare a closeness and intimacy with God that was blasphemous to their ears. God was supposed to be holy, sacred, and distant. Christ’s familiarity with God was sacrilegious. His message was too bold and undermined 2000 years of tradition. He had to be stopped; He had to be silenced; He had to be stoned to death.
These days, it is becoming more subversive to call God “Father.” Whenever I go to Presbytery, I am often saddened by the politically correct statements of faith that reflect our culture, instead of Christ’s words. In an effort to make everything palatable, God is often referred to as Creator. There is no intimacy or relationship with that word; God may as well be called Manufacturer of the Universe or Chief Producer of Life.
Christ came among us to reveal how intimate, involved, and interested God is in our lives. He called God “Father” because of the real relationship He had with God. Jesus wanted His people to get over their holy hang-ups and sacred taboos because those things were creating a gap between themselves and God. So boldly, fearlessly, and faithfully, Christ named God as Father. It was such a distinct and true relationship that even His last words from the Cross were, “Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit.”
We need to get back to basics and stop messing up our faith with cultural conveniences. Jesus faced stoning because He dared to call God “Father.” He opened up a radical way of being in relationship with God, despite the protests of His peers. And in the end, it was His faith in His Father that triumphed over His miserable, lonely, and painful death.
As Christians, we call Jesus “Lord” and seek to follow His ways. If calling God “Father” was good enough for Jesus, then why isn’t it good enough for us?
Prayer: Father God, break down our self-imposed barriers and politically correct structures which fence off our intimacy with You. Liberate us from modern day conventions and enable us to fully accept and embrace You as our Father in Heaven, the Father of our hearts, and the Father of our faith. Give us the boldness of Jesus to step out from cultural limits, so that along with Him, we may boldly declare You as our Father. In Christ’s Holy Name, we pray. Amen.