Q. John 5:17-18, says, “In His defense (for healing on the Sabbath) Jesus said to them, ‘My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I too am working.’ At this point they tried to kill Him because He made Himself as high as God by calling God His own Father.”
When we pray, Jesus tells us to say “Our Father Who art in heaven” When we call God our Father, are we also making ourselves as high as God? Would you please explain it to me?
A. The Jews of the Lord’s time would never think of addressing God by such an intimate term and suspected Him of committing blasphemy. And yet their own prophecies described the Messiah as being the Son of God and therefore able to call Him Father.
Speaking to the Messiah in Psalm 2:7 God said, “You are my Son. Today I have become your Father.” And in Isaiah 9:6 the prophet wrote, “For unto us a child is born, Unto us a son is given” and went on to call Him, “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.” Their problem was they didn’t believe He was their Messiah.
When we call God our Father, we’re not trying to make ourselves as high as God. We’re simply acknowledging that a Father/child relationship exists between God and us. We have the right to do this because John 1:12-13 says when we received the Lord and believed in His name we were given the authority to become one of God’s children.
Romans 8:15-17 goes even further confirming we can call God our Father and can think of ourselves as heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ. Romans 8:29 says God’s purpose is for us to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the firstborn of many brothers.
Galatians 4:4-7 adds that we’ve received the full rights of sons, which is equivalent to being legally adopted into God’s family and receiving the right of inheritance.
I realize that much of this is beyond our imagining, but these are clear statements from God’s word. Having the right to call the Creator of the Universe our Father is just one of the many examples of the incomparable riches of God’s grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus (Ephes. 2:7).
Thank you Father, for taking us into your family and calling us your own children. We know we don’t deserve this; it’s another sign of your overwhelming love for us. Amen.