Sunday, 18 June 2017

God is not like a father

Jesus does not say that God is like a father.

And that's helpful, because too many people have bad experiences of their fathers. So for them, saying God is like a father would just carry too much unhelpful baggage.

In fact, if we say
'God is like a father' then we're getting the whole picture back to front! God is not the letters 'D.A.D.' written large in the sky.

But what Jesus does say is that God is our Father. Not like a father, but actually Father. Our Father in heaven. That's how he describes God, and that's who he tells us to pray to.

"'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name (Matthew 6:9)

And the Bible tells us that the whole idea of fatherhood and family starts with God...

I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name (Ephesians 3:14-15)

If we look out through dirty windows, the landscape might seem rather grotty. However, there's nothing wrong with the scenery. It's just the dirty widows which filter what we see, making a beautiful scene seem spoilt and tarnished. The fault lies with the windows, not the landscape.

One friend described how she recognises this distinction by refering to her biological parent as Dad, but God as her heavenly Father. She's starting to see in Him what real fatherhood is meant to look like, and knows that her Dad is meant to be more and more like her Father.

Some of us have seen glimpses of God through our earthly Dads, and for that we can be immensely grateful. Everything good about our Dads is an insight into what God is like.

I've seen those glimpses in my own Dad, and for that I'm thankful.


I've seen many searching for answers far and wide,
But I know we're all searching
For answers only you provide.
'Cause you know just what we need
Before we say a word. 
You're a good good father -
It's who you are, it's who you are, it's who you are.
And I'm loved by you -
It's who I am, it's who I am, it's who I am.
Because you are perfect in all of your ways;
You are perfect in all of your ways;
You are perfect in all of your ways to us.

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