Jesus told His disciples in John 14:9, “Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father.” He was trying to explain to them that He was the perfect expression and image of their heavenly Father. And even today, the notion of the Trinity…the Three in One…Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is a difficult concept to wrap our minds around. Each is a flawless part of the whole…each equally important…each deserving honor, glory, and praise.
This week ended the 5 year journey of my son’s family adopting a beautiful little girl from Haiti. The moment this orphan’s feet hit USA soil she was a legal citizen and officially theirs. Another word for son-ship in this verse is adoption. We all have the opportunity to be legally adopted by our Heavenly Father. But for some, they see God only through the lens of their biological father…a man that might have been absent, abusive, or angry. Despite the faults and failures of your earthly father…your Heavenly Father will be loving and involved. He is not to be feared for retaliation. He is just and will never leave you. He will accept you just as you are, and will love you unconditionally. God is your Daddy, which is what the word Abba means…and He’s wanting to be that Daddy in your life you may have never had.
It tells us in John 1:12-13, “Yet to all who receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” When we are born again into the family of God we become His children. And just like little children we learn by our Heavenly Father’s example. We’ve all seen tiny toddlers attempting to mimic adult actions…it’s how children learn to do things…they model and copy their parents. We are to be imitators of God…modeling our lives after Him, and living as His beloved children.
Why was Jesus so insistent that John the Baptist baptize Him? Why would the Son of God need to submit to it at all? First for credibility…a sinless Jesus could identify with all sinners by humbling Himself to baptism. Secondly for obedience…Jesus demonstrated His total submission to His Heavenly Father in baptism. Finally for new beginnings…for this was the first step in the start of His public ministry here on earth.
The 12 year-old Jesus wasn’t being disrespectful to His parents when He asked this question. He was simply incredulous that they had not realized where He was destined to be. For this young Jesus had already taken on the obligation and duty of His Heavenly Father…as seen in Psalm 69:9, “…for the zeal for Your House consumes Me…”
We’ll readily agree that God is our Heavenly Father and the Master of the universe. But our actions seldom match the honor and respect we should be showing the Lord Almighty. Our reverence and appreciation usually goes to material things and our comfort… rather than God. We should all then ask ourselves if we’re showing God the respect and honor He’s due, or placing ourselves on the throne instead.
We all want the very best for our children. We also may want them to succeed in areas where we didn’t…like Sports. But just because that “mini-me” looks like you, doesn’t mean he has any desire to be the football , basketball, or baseball star you weren’t back in the day. Pushing kids into activities they aren’t excited about will only exasperate and infuriate everyone. Each one of our children are unique individuals, with God- designed gifts, talents, and passions. By building on their strengths, we can foster what the Lord wants for them, rather than what we’d like to live vicariously through them.