Jesus said in John 6:46 that no one has seen the Father except himself. Jesus also said that “if you have seen me you have seen the Father”. John 14:9
We only hear Father God speak twice in the scriptures: – once at Jesus baptism (Matthew 3:17) and once on the Mountain at the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:5) so we could wonder how we would get to know the Father. However, scripture repeatedly tells us that we get to know Father God through Jesus the Son and His Word.
Jesus is the image of the Father
Jesus was and is the perfect expression of the character of Father God.
15 He(Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
3 He(Jesus) is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature……
John 14:9 b
9 ……Whoever has seen me has seen the Father…….
Full of grace and truth
In John 1:14 we read that Jesus was full of Grace and Truth and this is also fundamental to our understanding of the character of Father God:
- Truth is not just that God cannot lie, it is also that His truth is a reality that cannot be changed. It is also linked to the idea of Light which cannot be overcome by darkness (ie nothing can hide from Him) and linked to the Word (Bible), which Jesus said is Truth. John 17:17
- Grace is an expression of His Love. He is a loving, gracious and giving God who has gifted us salvation through Jesus. The Old Testament conveys this idea in the words “Steadfast love”. Grace reaches out a loving hand to all mankind.
It is the love and holiness together which took Jesus to the Cross for us so we could be reconciled to Him. God the Father has this same character and while Holy, expresses that same grace toward us that Jesus showed to us.
A loving Father
Jesus introduced God as a loving Father. When Jesus teaches his disciples to pray, the prayer starts with “Our Father” (Matthew 6:9-13). Stop and think about that for a while.
It may be that your earthly Father let you down, hurt, mistreated you or was absent and this can strongly influence your view of God as a loving Father. You may need to forgive your earthly Father so you can see and know God more fully as a Loving Father. The Parable of the Prodigal son is the story of two sons who did not really know their Father and that He loved them both more than they knew (Luke 15:11-32).
We need to get to know our loving Father God, otherwise, we may struggle to approach Him in prayer and trust that He will answer.
A good Father
God is good and only God is good.
19 And Jesus said ……No one is good except God alone.
It means that Father God has no bad intentions or darkness and always does what is loving, right and good. We may not always consider that we experience this as a reality but God’s goodness is independent of our experience. Believing this is part of our walk of faith.
As Joseph said of his brothers in Genesis 50:20
20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.
An all-powerful Father
There are other more technical words to describe God which can be attributed to Father God:
- Immutable: – He does not change and being God does not need to change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
- Omniscient: – God knows everything. There is nowhere to hide from God and no point in thinking He does not see our sin even if no one else does. (Luke 5:22)
- Omnipotent: – God is all powerful. In this context, He was our creator, the creator of the Universe (Gen 1) and He will carry out All His plans for mankind. (Isaiah 14:27)
- Omnipresent: – God is everywhere and there is no hiding (Jeremiah 23:23-24 / Proverbs 15:3 ) Amazingly the kings of the earth (think Governments) at the time of the return of Jesus will try to hide in caves thinking they can hide from God. (Revelation 6:15)
A Father encouraging fruitfulness
Our Father in heaven wants us to grow and be fruitful in our Christian life. Jesus described the Father metaphorically as a gardener who prunes and cares for the garden (us believers). John 15:1-4 This is the hard part of being a Father and being a child. Pruning can be a painful experience which may involve loss and change but the objective is for us to grow and be fruitful. Branches that are pruned are true believers. Just as any parent wants their child to grow into a mature adult, so the Father encourages, prompts, teaches and trains us to grow into mature believers.
Knowing Father God will help you as you pray and develop your relationship with Him.
- Forgive your earthly father if there are heart issues that make it hard to trust Father God.
- Take time in the Word and prayer to get to know the Father in contrast to the Prodigal son story (Luke 15:11-32) where they did not know their father.
The best way to get to know God the Father is to start by talking to Him, being prayerful and reading the Word with the aim of involving God in your everyday life.