This Sunday is, of course, Father’s Day. For many, this is a wonderful day spent with their fathers. For others, this is a difficult day because it is a reminder that our fathers are no longer with us. For some, it is a reminder of how blessed they are to have their dad, while others are reminded of their difficult relationship with their dad.
Regardless of what kind of day Father’s Day is for you, it is a good moment to reflect on one of the key ways the New Testament speaks of our relationship toward God; it repeatedly speaks of him as our Father. How you think of him is inevitably affected by your relationship with your earthly father.
In thinking about this I am reminded of the Parable of the Prodigal Son. After the younger son is welcomed back by the father, the older son responds saying, “Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends.” (Luke 15:29) He has a very distorted and wrong-headed view of his father. Literally, he said, “Look, these many years I have slaved for you...” He looks at his father and sees their relationship as that of a slave to his owner. And the younger son’s view really wasn’t much different, as he was practicing what he would say to his father he said, “I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”(Luke 15:19) They both wrongly thought of their father as a slave master. Yet if you read the parable, the father’s actions show that they are clearly wrong.
Often we too have a very wrong-headed view of God. We may use the title “father” when we pray, but we struggle to believe that it could really be true. We struggle to believe that we really are sons and daughters of God. But in Christ we truly are. As Paul says, “So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” (Galatians 4:7). Do you believe this? Do you know it to be true? Do you believe that because of Nothing But Jesus, you are no longer a slave and are now a son or daughter and an heir? It is incredible and it is true!