Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen
Back to the Father
by Erik Momsen
What is God like? What does He look like and how does He behave? What can we expect from Him and how will He treat us? The best place to find these important answers is in the words of Jesus. Jesus was the first and only founder of a world religion who spoke about God in such a personal and intimate way. He came to reveal God by showing us the Father and the Son in himself.
We see a precursor of the relationship that Jesus has with the Father in the words spoken over David, king of Israel.
"I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart away from him ... " (2 Samuel 7:14,15)
Our relationship is the same. It is one of love, mercy but also discipline.
Jesus refers regularly to the Father and builds an understanding of the heart of the Father for us:
The Father loves all people perfectly despite their reaction to Him. We are to be perfect in love as He is. (Matthew 5:43-47)
The Father is quiet about His goodness and so must we be. (Matthew 6:1)
The Father does not like religiosity. (Matthew 6:6)
The Father rewards simplicity and humility.
The Father knows what we need but likes to be asked. (Matthew 6:8, 7:11)
The Father does not appreciate lip service, but real service. (Matthew 7:21)
The Father wants to get to know you more than anything else. (Matthew 7:23)
The Father knows your trouble and will speak through you. (Matthew 10:19,20)
Not just anyone gets to know the Father - Only the Son and those whom the Son shows. (Matthew 11:27)
The Father wants to find every lost "little one" = humble one. (Matthew 18:4, 14)
The Father wants equality among his sons and daughters with no hierarchy. (Matthew 23:1-12)
THE PARABLE OF THE EXTRAVAGANT FATHER
This story tells us about two sons, both lost in their hearts, and a father who would give the world for them. The parable has two parts. It tells of the joy of welcoming a repentant sinner. Secondly, it tells of the love and mercy of God which is rejected by the religious (older son). The Father is unconditional joy, forgiveness and acceptance and not cold, hard law and judgment.
The returning sinner is given a robe of the honoured guests, the ring for sonship and shoes - not given to a servant. In the Buddhist parallel, the son is tested for twenty year and only then is the father revealed, as the son proves himself. But this sinner in the Bible is welcomed back unconditionally for it is always the Father's great love that changes the sinner.
In the story the Father actually has three sons. One worldly, wayward and foolish, the second lawful, proud and cold. The third son is the Son of Man who with the Father decided to give it all up to save both sons of earth.
Only as we meet the Son from heaven and are shown what the Father is really like do we open our heart and have the Spirit dwell in us and create in us a heart of love, forgiveness and gentleness.
"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." (Romans 8:14)
Date Added: 2010-09-28
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