Day 13: The Father Who Draws People to the Son

Scripture

Today’s full reading is John 6:22-59

“Jesus answered them, ‘Do not grumble among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.”
John 6:43

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Observation

In this Bible verse we learn that the Father is both the gatekeeper of the Son and also the one who initiates salvation. What I mean is this:

  • God the Father draws people to the Son (‘No one can come… unless the Father… draws him’) and is therefore out and about in people’s lives bringing individuals to the Son.
  • The very fact that there is a salvation on offer at all is a result of God the Father sending the Son (‘The Father who sent me…’).

We have this strange double-idea in salvation. The Father draws people (and no one who comes to Christ comes unless the Father draws him), but also elsewhere Jesus says ‘I have come to seek and save the lost’ (Luke 19:10).

Jesus is looking for those that the Father is drawing to the Son. He is looking to see where the Father is working. There is a sense in which the Father and the Son are labouring together, each doing a distinct role. They are a partnership and team.

It is this relationship that we’re invited into.

So, we have seen:

  • It’s the Father’s desire that all who look to the Son for life are saved.
  • No one who comes, comes unless the Father draws him.
  • Jesus only ever does the will of the One who sent him.
  • Jesus is seeking and saving the lost.

The next verse says this:

‘Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me.’
John 6:44

Once God the Father speaks to people they’re drawn to Jesus. It’s as though this is the inevitable outcome of being spoken to or taught by the Father.

Application

The Father speaks and says ‘See my Son!’ or he speaks in such a way that we find ourselves lacking in satisfaction until we get to Jesus.

The Father who made all things could tell us any number of mysteries and perform any amount of wonders but his priority is to tell us about the Son. He wants us to learn from, be near to and be around the Son.

Do you see what the Father sees in the Son?

The Father always gives us what we need most of all and for him step one of a thousand mile journey must always begin with the Son. All other steps besides this one are missteps that will need to be repeated.

This Bible verse also gives me confidence and comfort. It gives me confidence that evangelism (the act of sharing the gospel) isn’t a fruitless endeavour since the Father wants people to come to him. It gives me comfort because I’m reminded that the reason I came to the Son and became a Christian was, in the first instance, because the Father willed it. The Father chose me, he chose you and he’s choosing those we live around, desiring that all of them and us see the Son as he does.

Prayer

Thank you Father. Thank you for choosing me, for bringing me to the Son. Thank you that you found me and having found me you didn’t punish me; instead you punished Jesus in order that I might be free and forgiven and have life in his name. I love you Father and am so grateful for your calling of me.

Day 12: The Father Gives Eternal Life

Scripture

Today’s full reading is John 6:22-50

“All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out… For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life.”
John 6:37,40

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Observation

The Father gives to the Son and gives him people and those people receive life in Jesus’ name. Again we see both the Father’s generosity and his desire for people to have eternal life. But we also see how the Father’s highest delight is in the Son. Jesus says: ‘Look on the Son’, ‘believe in the Son,’ and ‘given to me [the Son]’.

We learn that Jesus will not and does not lose whom the Father gives to him. Salvation and eternal life are not just found in Jesus, they are secured in him as well. Jesus’ grip on those the Father gives him is secure and permanent.

Application

This morning allow your minds eye to see the God who is Father. See the Father who is giving you rescue and new life, secure and true. See the Father who wants you to find rescue in Jesus. He wants for you to be safe and secure. He wants you to come to eternal life and not to lose it.

This is what he’s like. He’s a rescuing and protecting Father. In the words of an old hymn:

‘let me no more my comfort draw, from my frail hold of thee.
In this alone rejoice with awe, thy mighty grasp of me.’

Where is your confidence this morning? Is it in yourself to remain in Christ and so be saved by your own will and effort, or is it in him and his ability to keep hold of you? God doesn’t lose any who come to him for rescue, he’s not about to start now.

Prayer

Father this is really good news. You’re a good Father, but I can also see that you’re a safe Father. You are strong and able to protect me and look after me. Help me today to trust you and celebrate the fact that you’ve not only saved me in the present tense but that you’ll save me in the final sense. You will keep me safe all the way. Thank you.

Day 11: The Father Who Provides Bread From Heaven

Scripture

Today’s full reading is John 6:1-59

“Jesus said to them ‘truly, truly I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.”
John 6:32

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Observation

Jesus taught his followers a model for their prayers by giving them what has become known as the Lord’s Prayer. That prayer begins with the words: Our Father in heaven… and goes on to request that God give us today our bread for the day.

God is the provider of all things. He gives us life and breath and clothing and food. Jesus points to this reality when he says ‘it was not Moses who gave you bread in the wilderness but my Father’.

In the Old Testament, in Moses’ day it was bread from the Father, in the form of physical food during the time of wilderness wandering (Ex. 16). Now, in this scene in John’s gospel, it is the true bread from heaven, the Bread of Life himself that the Father has given. The Father gives the gift of his son to us freely and gladly. He gives his son as a way of providing bread for the entire human race.

Application

Today the daily bread I need most of all is Jesus. He is the one who satisfies my soul (‘as with fat and rich food’ Psalm 63) and it is he whom the Father has provided for me; for us.

This is what our Father is like. The Father of all life is generous, so generous in fact that he provided for all when he sent his son into the world.

In calling himself ‘bread’ Jesus is of course talking in metaphor, we aren’t literally going to eat his skin and bones. He is talking symbolically but he is speaking about a very physical and tangible reality. Our soul’s hunger can and is satisfied by him and him alone.

Have you ever experienced him filling your soul’s deepest need? The Son is here by his Spirit to comfort, strengthen, forgive and enrich. He is here to give our soul’s the feeling of being full to bursting. If you’ve never experienced him like that before, stop and ask him to do so today.

Prayer

Thank you Father.

Thank you for every good thing in my life. Everything I have comes from you and is a gift given by you, the best of all and most satisfying of all gifts, is the gift of your Son. Please help me to seek my satisfaction in him today. So often I turn to other things to meet my deepest needs, but I know it’s you that I need most of all. Please help me. Amen.

Day 10: The Father Affirms

Scripture

Today’s full reading is John 5:17-40

“But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me.”
John 5:36

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Observation

As I begin reflecting on this verse I’m reminded again how wildly different the revelation of God as seen in Jesus is from anything else in world religion. In Jesus we see a God who is a Father. This is really good news for us. Let’s walk through this verse together and look at what it teaches us about the Father:

‘For the works that the Father has given me…’

The Father has given the Son works to do and these works were different to the works John (the Baptist) did, they were specific and unique to Jesus. There was also a clear intention behind them. The works were designed to announce, to all who’d hear it, that Jesus was sent by the Father. The Father empowered and gave the Son authority to do the very things he called him to do. More than that:

‘…and the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me,’

The Father didn’t just send the Son and then step back leaving him on his own to try and convince people that he was the Son of God. No, the Father sent Jesus and also stood alongside him so to speak, testifying about him through the things Jesus did.

Application

The Father ‘pays for what he orders’ (as I’ve heard it said elsewhere). He doesn’t tell us to do something and then not give us the tools for the job. The Father is generous in his provision. He fights for his people, defends them and justifies them. He doesn’t leave a person alone when he calls them to do something. He gives us what we need in order to do what he calls us to do; and he does call us to do things, just as he did for Jesus.

We can confidently affirm the following about the Father from this verse:

The Father enables us, provides for us and isn’t afraid to affirm us in public.

I include the word ‘us’ in the above sentence even though the verse in question has to do with Jesus. I can do this confidently because the Father never acts ‘out of character’ and so since Christians are adopted children of God, how he behaves toward the Son reveals how he behave toward all sons and daughters.

This ought to effect the way I approach the things I’m nervous about. The Father is my Father and my Father gives me all the strength and confidence and equipment I need to do what he puts in front of me. The apostle Paul said it well when he wrote:

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13

Prayer

Thank you Father. You affirm me in public. In front of people, you stand by me saying ‘this is my son, whom I love’ and you provide me promising to give me all that I need. I want to live differently today in light of that truth. Please help me to remember this truth and live like it’s true today. Amen.

Day 9: The Father Who Honours the Son

Scripture

Today’s full reading is John 5:17-33

“The Father judges no one, but has given all judgement to the Son, that all may honour the Son, just as they honour the Father. Whoever does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent him.”
John 5:22

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Observation

The Father is mentioned three times in this short verse and each one contains some glorious truth about who he is and what he’s like.

First of all. Think for a moment about how arrogant Jesus must have sounded when he first spoke these words: …that all may honour the Son… whoever does not honour the Son, does not honour the Father… when he mentions ‘the Son’ he’s talking about himself. Here is Jesus, a poor, wandering (often homeless), preacher from Galilee declaring that unless people honour him they’re not really honouring the Father. How can a mere man make a statement like this? Rather, I should ask, how could a man with the character of Jesus make a statement like this? We’re all familiar with mad men, or foolish men or deluded men making such claims but Jesus doesn’t fit into any of those descriptions. From the record of Jesus’ character revealed in the New Testament he was far from cruel, arrogant or deluded by visions of self-grandeur. Yet here he is making an outrageous claim to grandeur. Whatever are we to make of that?

I’ll leave that question hanging for the day, for you to consider. Let’s move on to consider the nature of the Father revealed in these words:

Jesus’ words reveal a Father who:

  • Is generous — ‘has given all judgement to the Son’.
  • Wants the Son to be prized and appreciated — ‘that all may honour the Son’.
  • Entrusts his Son with genuine responsibility — ‘has given all judgement to the Son’.
  • Desires to share his honour with his Son — ‘whoever does not honour the Son…’.
  • Sends the Son; there is a difference of roles within the Trinity being shown here — ‘has given…’.

 

The Father, then, is not controlling and cruel. He has relinquished, given up his right to or his role in, pronouncing decisive judgement over people. He has instead entrusted this to his son. Why? Is it because he can’t do it as well as Jesus can? No, not likely. Is it because his judgement wouldn’t be as accurate as Jesus’? No.

Jesus gives us the reason for it when he says that the Father wants the object of his delight (the Son) to also be the object of other’s delight and the way the Father goes about it (we’re told in these verses) is by making the Son the judge who judges over all the Earth.

Application

I often think of judges and judging as being a negative thing but God doesn’t. The reason I do is probably due to both our society’s ‘anything goes’ attitude and also the inaccurate and impurely motivated judgements I’m too familiar with making. I judge others out of bad heart a lot of the time. But true righteous judgement isn’t a bad thing, in fact it’s very good.

Imagine being a Jew living in the first century AD. As a people they’re occupied by a foreign military, forced to pay extortionate taxes and have vivid memories of recent cruelty inflicted against their countryman and family members. For them judgement means the end of all this. Judgement means justice. It means cruelty gets punished and fairness gets established.

This beautiful and praiseworthy role (of being the one to bring about justice) the Father has given over to his Son. One day the world will marvel and delight in the good judgement of the Son of God. When this happens Jesus will be all anyone will talk about and in the celebration of it all we’ll perhaps remember this verse and marvel: the Father could have had all this honour and merrymaking directed at himself, but he’s given it to his Son. What a Father is he! The Father seeks his pleasure in his Son. How good, how glorious, how lovely is he!

Prayer

Thank you Father that you are good. Thank you that you are life giving, that you share your glory with your Son. Thank you that you are the God of justice and will one day right every wrong. Today I choose to bow my knee to you, to trust you with my life. I know you can be trusted, now help me to do just that today. Amen.

Day 8: The Father Who Raises the Dead

Scripture

Today’s full reading is John 5:19-29

“For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will.”
John 5:21

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Observation

As an example of the sort of ‘marvelling’ Jesus is referring to in verse 20 he makes this statement:

The Father raises the dead.

That’s sort of thing our Father does and will do.

Jesus is either referring to the examples in the Old Testament of people being brought back to life, or he is speaking in general characteristic terms as in — ‘he’s the sort of God who’s willing and able to raise the dead.’ Or else Jesus is speaking with the resurrection (both his and the final one) in view. Either way the statement can be trusted. God the Father raises people up from the dead, back to new life. Actually, I like the way Jesus puts it — ‘the Father raises the dead and gives them life.’ The Father isn’t just a wonder worker who causes corpses to walk around like something out of a zombie film. No, the Father has power over the grave but also a willingness to give life.

The way he puts it makes it clear that life is a gift given by a good God, a loving Father.

Application

I often behave like I’m entitled to good health and a long life but verses like this one remind me that life is all a free gift of grace. I didn’t ask to be born, I did nothing to deserve life and I have nothing in myself that means I’ll carry on living tomorrow. I have no way of knowing that I’ll wake up again in the morning; how cheery. This all has the effect of making me both grateful for my life and also sobered about my own limitations.

We are like mobile phones disconnected from a power supply. Our life is running down every day. We live on borrowed life from the source of life himself. God is life and has life in himself. He is the sole possessor of life, everything else borrows from him.

Allow this to shape the way you approach your day today. Don’t be afraid of staring your own mortality in the eye reminding yourself as you do that up until now you’ve been in the hands of the life giving Father and tomorrow you’ll go on being in his hands. It’s his goodness that gives us confidence for tomorrow.

Let’s ask him to help us appreciate and enjoy the life he’s given us, receiving it as a gift and not as our due.

Prayer

Thank you Father. Thank you that nothing is impossible for you, that you can bring the dead back to life; but thank you as well for the life you have given me today. Thank you that my life is in your hands and that I derive the meaning for my life from you as well. Help me to receive with gratitude all that you’ve done for me and continue to do for me today.

Day 7: The One the Son is Tethered To

Scripture

Today’s full reading in which the Father is mentioned several times is John 5:19-47

The context is picking up from the issues raised in the previous verses. Since Jesus speaks as one who has authority over the Sabbath, the question is raised — where does his authority come from? To which Jesus answers with the following:

“truthfully I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and show him all that he himself is doing.”
John 5:19

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Observation

These are remarkable words that reveal a lot about who the Father is and what the Father is doing. I’m struck by a couple of key ideas here:

Firstly it’s clear that the Son is tethered to the Father. By that I mean that he is a servant of his who lives to ‘do his bidding’ (to put it crudely). It isn’t only that the Son doesn’t do anything except what the Father reveals to him, it is that he can’t; ‘the Son can do nothing of his own accord.’

For Jesus to be the Son he must be perfectly consistent. For him to act in a way that is uncharacteristic of God would mean that he had temporarily ceased to be the Son. His identity and his behaviour are therefore intrinsically linked.

Secondly Jesus acts in the way that he does because this is what God the Father is like. The traffic flows this way: The Father is → the Son acts.

It isn’t that Jesus was a nice and kind person who tried to teach us and show us God. It is that the Father is kind and generous and so Jesus imitated him.

When I look at Jesus I see the behaviour traits of the Father. The Son eats with sinners because the Father does. The Son loves the lost because the Father does. To work out his life’s mission Jesus didn’t only read the scriptures and pray, he watched to see what the Father was doing — and he did the same. Since God is love, Jesus’ life was characterised by love.

Thirdly we notice that the Father shows the Son everything he does. The Father isn’t a dad who’s poor at communicating or silent. Since the Son’s ‘job’ is to behave and act in a way that reveals the Father, the Father isn’t restrictive about what he shares with his Son. He isn’t remote and mysterious, requiring obedience but slow in giving instructions. The Father communicates clearly and lovingly.

This is our heavenly Father. This is what God is like. Regardless of what we feel God is like, this is God — and it’s soul-satisfyingly glorious. I can see why Hebrews says: ‘whoever would draw near to God must first believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.’ To not believe that God rewards is to not believe in the right God. The Bible’s God, the real God, is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is God and all other imitations are idolatrous.

Application

It can be hard sometimes to believe this about God. Our circumstances, the state of the world and unanswered prayer can make it hard for us to affirm and enjoy the goodness of the Father. It’s important at times like this that we cling to the authoritative revelation of God in Jesus Christ. We have to allow our experience to play second fiddle to the Bible when it comes to our thinking about God.

At times like this we have to, perhaps through gritted teeth, in humility and (no doubt) a fair amount of pain affirm the goodness of the Father. We have to ask for him to reveal his love to us in fresh ways and ask that since he is a communicative and kind Father that he would speak to us and show us kindness. Prayer may not remove our affliction but it can transform our experience of it.

Prayer

Father, thank you for how you revealed yourself to us in Jesus. Thank you that I’m not left having to guess what you’re like, you’ve made it obvious in Jesus. Thank you that you’re a sacrificial, kind, good and generous Father. Help me today to know your goodness and kindness to me in fresh ways. I need you. Without you I have nothing. Amen.

Day 6: God the Father: The God at work

Scripture

Today’s full reading is John 5:1-17

“But Jesus answered them, ‘My Father is working until now, and I am working.”
John 5:17

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Observation

In order for us to understand what Jesus is saying here about the Father we need to read the verse within its context, the healing of the man at Bethesda. It’s a curious thing. Often Jesus references ‘the one who sent me’, and sometimes he’ll mention just plain old ‘God’ or ‘the Lord’. What is it, I wonder, that causes Jesus at any given moment to use the word Father when describing and discussing God instead of one of the alternative words?

So far in John’s gospel it seems that Father is used whenever a point is being made about the level of familiarity and intimacy that exists between Jesus and God. It’s when Jesus wants to make the point that his heart and God’s heart are united on an issue that he opts for ‘Father’. It is also the case that Jesus uses the word Father whenever he wants people to grasp the relational intimacy and tenderness that God is capable of and is looking for with people. This appears to be the case in Jesus’ usage of the term here in chapter 5.

In this section a man is healed after 38 years as an invalid. After almost four decades of being dependant upon the kindness of others he is able to walk by himself and carry his own bedding with him. This is a remarkable moment in his life, a dramatic turning point to say the least. In one moment his entire life changed.

On the morning of his healing the man had woken up and gone about his day the same as every other. Little did the man know as he began his day that tomorrow would be very different. Tomorrow there’d be no more pain, no more discomfort, no more hopelessness, no more begging, no more shame.

What changed for this man was that he met Jesus who applied the Father’s work to his life.

The use of the word ‘work’ in the verse we’re considering here makes sense because of the setting it appears in. The context of the story explains why Jesus speaks in the way he does.

People were forbidden from working on the Sabbath (Saturday in our diaries). Jesus healed the man on the Sabbath and so ‘worked’. The man who’s been healed then gets caught carrying his mat (an act of work) and he’s doing so because Jesus told him to do so — who is now telling someone to break the Sabbath laws.

Jesus’ statement ‘the Father works until now’ means — God doesn’t stop helping people on the Sabbath. God rested on the 7th day of creation but he isn’t inactive today, he hasn’t been idle ever since. The fact that God is active and involved in the world working in it, appears to be the point Jesus is looking to make from this.

But Jesus doesn’t stop there, he never intended to.

He introduces the concept of God’s work with the personal pronoun ‘My’ and the familial title ‘Father’. In using these two words — My Father — Jesus anticipates the second half of the sentence quite naturally: ‘My Father is working, therefore I am working.’ The meaning isn’t lost on his original audience. Their response to his words? They begin to plot his death. That’s quite a reaction to what appears to be a harmless statement. Why did they react like this?

Not only does Jesus get into trouble by breaking the Sabbath BUT he even calls God his own Father, and breaks the Sabbath commandments on the basis that he’s equal with God.

That’s the problem in a nutshell. It’s a problem many modern readers don’t appreciate. Jesus spoke as one with the authority of God, as one who acted for God and who was in every real term equal with God.

So this passage of scripture is as much about the nature of the Son as it is about the character of the Father, but what can we learn about the Father from this? We can see that he:

Works all the time. This means that he’s never idle, he’s never not up to something. He’s never disinterested and distant. Even in the 38 years prior to this day the Father was ‘working’.

His Son is equal to him. He works with his Son and doesn’t simply boss him around. He is happy for the Son to be treated as equal to him. He shares his glory with his Son.

Normal rules (i.e. the Sabbath) don’t apply to the Father. He created rules and patterns for people and is not bound by them himself. If he desires to do something, he’ll do it.

Application

Where have you concluded that God has ‘stopped working’ in your life? Where have you given up hope? How does this passage of scripture give you fresh hope and faith for those areas of your life? The Father isn’t idle and inactive, he’s working and he has the authority to do whatever he wants at any moment.

Prayer

Father please help me today to trust you and to wait expectantly for what you’re going to do. Thank you that you are working in my life, that you’re a Father who is involved in my life and the world at large. Amen

Day 5: The Father and the Son

Scripture

Today’s full reading is John 3:31-35

“The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand.”
John 3:35

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Observation

Before we comment on this specific verse, notice in your Bibles what Jesus says in the verse immediately before it. In verse 34 it says that God has given Jesus the Spirit without measure. Without measure; another way of saying it would be to say ‘without limit.’ Jesus lived as a man filled with the Spirit without measure or limit.

It is immediately after Jesus says this that he makes the statement that he does in verse 35. Jesus, the one who has been given the Spirit without limit, has also been given all things. Whatever Jesus could wish for or ask for he could have. What makes this statement even more fascinating is that this is a pre-resurrection statement. In other words, before Jesus died and rose again he could say this ‘the Father has given me all things.’

The Son of God has been given all things by his Father, nothing has been withheld from him. He is bountifully and inexhaustibly full of the Spirit, but also the possessor of whatever he wants or desires.

God the Father is not waiting for him to do a good job or waiting for him to be ‘successful’ in ministry.

“Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.”
Psalm 2:8

The only prerequisite here (in Psalm 2:8) for the Son receiving ‘the nations’ is simple: asking. It isn’t ‘do this and this and this and then… feel free to ask.’ It is simply ‘ask me and I’ll give it to you whatever you desire!’

So, if this authority and power isn’t the result of a job well done what is it the result of?

Look again at verse 35:

‘The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand.’

Love. Because the Father loves the Son he gives the Son all things.

God the Father isn’t acting out of character when he does this and as such it reveals a few things about his character:

  • He is loving. He has always loved, will always love and never was there a time when he didn’t love.
  • He is a generous gift giver motivated to give by his love and not by our (or his son’s) performance.
  • The apple of his eye, the centre of his affection is his Son, and if you’re a believer, you’re hidden ‘in the Son’ (Col. 3:4)

Application

This is brilliant, brilliant and refreshing. This is a breath of fresh air to me and reveals a God so desirable that I feel as though I was made to know him. The loving, generous, gift giving Father is God.

Apart from giving me confidence to pray it makes me ponder. If God the Father has loved his Son like this, if the Son is the object of the Father’s affection, if the Son is a source of delight for the Father then there must be plenty more to Jesus than I have at first realised. This thought draws my mind deeper into the intoxicating goodness of God the Trinity and it is here that I find perfect contentment and rest for my soul.

Prayer

Father show me exactly what it is about Jesus that has captured your love like this. I want to to know him more like this and I want to love him more. Thank you that you are a generous and loving Father, please help me to reflect your generosity and kindness to the people in my life today.

Day 4: The Father Hasn’t Walked Out On Us

Scripture

Today’s full reading is John 2:13-25

“And he told those who sold pigeons, ‘take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.”
John 2:16

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Observation

It’s clear from the story that there must have been some under-handed activity taking place in the temple. Jesus would not have been angry simply at the presence of trade in the temple since it was something permitted for pilgrim worshippers in Moses. There must have been something else going on for him to get so angry.

It can only be for a couple of reasons. Either there was a lot of dishonest practise taking place, or (and this is perhaps more likely from the actual words themselves) the trade had grown and taken priority over the worship. The trade had become primary and worship and prayer, secondary. What was at first a permitted necessity (to ensure that travellers to the temple wouldn’t have to transport their animals for sacrifice from miles around) had become the main focus. The outer courts had become the equivalent to a shopping mall. Buy your animals for sacrifice yes, but buy also a new outfit for the party or snap-up this great deal on this and that.

I can well imagine that whereas before people would have gone to the temple only for temple things, now people would go to shop and run errands. Worship & prayer was just one of the many things a person could do at temple.

All of which is useful background as we home in on the Father mentioned here:

So what can we learn about the Father from these verses?

  • The Father had a house.
  • The Father could be approached by sinful men and women.
  • The Father could be known by sinful men and women.

Application

This impacts me in a couple of ways:

Firstly I can see that God the Father has always sought a way to live with us in much more than simply a general omnipresent way. As the light of the sun is both everywhere and yet has a specific source so it is with God. The Father is both everywhere and yet also somewhere specific. He has always wanted for that ‘somewhere specific’ to be among us, his creation. In the Garden of Eden God walked with Adam and after the Fall God laid out plans to make it possible to still live among us despite our sin. This is how the Father behaves.

Secondly although there are great things to be said about him and great things to be known about him, the more startling reality is that we can know him and experience him personally — everyone can.

The Father is a father who is near and locatable. He hasn’t left us. That needs to be said again:

He hasn’t left us.

If that was true of him then, how much more is it true now that Christ has come? Jesus has shown us more clearly what the Father is like. In fact we can take it further than that; he has sent his Spirit into us so that we are now individually and corporately as the church the temple of God. We are the dwelling place of God. The Father has taken up residence by his Spirit in each one of his followers.

The Father hasn’t left us, he is in you by his Spirit.

Prayer

Thank you Father. Thank you that you are near to me, thank you that you have made yourself known to us and made yourself available to us. Thank you that by your Spirit you live with me today. Please fill me with your Spirit an help me to do all that you have for me today. I need you, I want you and I’m amazed that you would make yourself so near to me. Amen.