And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. ~Matthew 23:9
In old times, a person’s identity was traced to his parents, primarily to his father. It was critical that man could show his ancestry to his father and forefathers. After David conquered the giant Goliath, the first question King Saul asked about him was, “Whose son art thou?” Every person can only have home earthly father. This morning, we are considering the importance of God as our Heavenly Father.
We see the relationship.
God becomes our heavenly Father when by faith we receive His Son Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name,” John 1:12. “When God is our heavenly Father we become heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ,” Rom. 8:17. God can only be our Father once we are saved. When this happens, He is our model Father. He is a Father that is merciful, patient, and longsuffering towards us. He is a Father that desires our closeness to him. He knows everything about us and only allows that which is in our best interest to come into our lives. He is a Father that encourages us to cast all our cares upon Him because he cares for us. He is a Father to whom we can approach as “Abba, Father.” Is God your Father today?
We see the restriction.
“And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.” The context of this verse is Jesus denouncement of the oppressive and deceptive practices of the Pharisees. These religious frauds were into domination and control of the common people. These men were so proud and arrogant, they made it a rule that the people would call them “father” out of reverence. Jesus spoke against this blasphemous practice by telling the people that no man, especially one holding office in a spiritual capacity, should be called “father.” Today, there are religious groups whose central authority are referred to as “father.” What held as a restriction when Jesus spoke this verse still applies today as well. We have an earthly father who we can call “father,” but no other man should be referred to in a spiritual context as your father.
We see the resource.
“But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly,” Matt. 6:6. Our Father in Heaven invites us to spend much time with Him in prayer. All the resources of Heaven are open and available to us through prayer. Just as an earthly father is open and receptive to his children making request of him, even so does our heavenly Father. Yes, when we approach God in prayer, we approach Him as our Creator and Sustainer. However, our relationship with Him enables us to approach Him as our Father who is intricately interested in everything having to do with our lives.
We see the relief.
“Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him,” Ps. 103:13. What a powerful and comforting thought to know our Father has pity and compassion for us. The Pharisees saw people for what they could get from them. God sees us for what He can do for us! He picks us up when we are down. He stops us from making foolish decisions. He forgives us when we are unforgivable. He encourages us when we are distressed. To know that the Creator of the universe has pity for me is a powerful and compelling thought.
There is only one spiritual Father and that is God. No pastor, priest, cleric, or religious officer is entitled to this reference. Let’s thank our God this morning for being our Father which is in Heaven!
Have a comforted God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Mark 15-16