Editorial: Our Father Which Art In Heaven

Norman Crawford

The current series on Marriage and the Family must derive its supreme pattern from Ephesians 3:14-15. "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named," or more accurately translated, "from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name." This is not a reference to the spiritual family, but rather to different families. Every family can find its highest example in the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

There are about five OT references to God as Father, but none of them describe Him as a personal Father. They are references such as Psalm 103:13, "Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him." What a contrast then to open the NT and find the Father in as many as 44 verses in the first book. In John, the Lord Jesus refers to the Father 108 times. The reason for this absence from the OT and emphasis in the NT is, "Neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him" (Matt 11:27). "The only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him" (John 1:18). The Son so perfectly revealed the Father that He could say, "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father" (John 14:9). The only way to the Father is through the Son.

In His first mention of the Father, "glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matt 5:16), there are three great truths. 1) The throne of the Father is in heaven. He is the the Lord of heaven and earth. 2) The Glory of the Father is the eternal purpose of all things. 3) The children are personally linked and say "our Father."

In this first Gospel, the Lord Jesus revealed a Father who has loving kindness and compassion. His sun shines on the evil and the good, and His rain falls on the just and unjust. He is omniscient. "He sees in secret." His name is "hallowed," meaning that He is absolutely holy and we must honor, revere and stand in awe before Him. His will is sovereign and will be done in Heaven and in earth, yet He forgives trespasses because of His grace. He feeds the fowls of the heaven and not a sparrow falls, but the Father knows. This is staggering! The Lord of Heaven and earth sees a little sparrow fall. From this the Lord taught. "The very hairs of your head are numbered, Fear not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows" (Matt 10:29-31). He is so great that nothing is beyond His power and nothing beneath His notice. What a Father!

In Gethsemane, the Lord Jesus prayed, "Abba Father, all things are possible unto Thee Abba is an Aramaic word, it is the cry of an infant voice. However, "Abba" also is a term of reverence and faith. "Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts crying, Abba, Father" (Gal 4:6).

In a very tender, personal appeal to the hearts of His own, the Lord Jesus said, "The Father Himself loveth you" (John 16:17). "We have known and believed the love that God hath to us" (1 John 4:16). "Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy name."

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