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Jesus' View of the Father

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
March 16, 2022 4:00 am

Jesus' View of the Father

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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March 16, 2022 4:00 am

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Jesus taught us the major truths about God then, His nature, His holiness, His justice, His power, His sovereignty, His omniscience, His care, and His providence.

But you know something? In all of that, we still haven't touched on the main lesson Jesus taught us about God. And that title for God is simply this, Father. Sadly, there are many people who think of God as a distant, bitter, angry judge, someone who wants nothing more than to stop humanity from having fun. Now if someone has such a view of the Almighty, he or she could never enjoy God. And yet the psalmist says believers are to delight in God.

But practically, how do you do that? Find out on Grace To You as John MacArthur begins a study titled Enjoying God. John, this is not a new idea. It's actually the first answer to the shorter catechism that man's chief duty is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. But a lot of people don't think in those terms. We think about being humble before God or fearing Him or honoring Him. Does he really expect us to enjoy Him?

Yeah, I think he does. We should be filled with joy. I mean, if you talk about Christian joy, the fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, rejoice always, and again I say rejoice, rejoice in the Lord, right? Rejoice in the Lord is exactly what's being said in that catechism, that we should find our joy in the Lord. We should rejoice in the Lord.

And what does that mean? It doesn't mean necessarily that there's some attribute of God you pick out and you express joy over that, although that is something we do. We particularly do that in singing hymns, right? We express joyfully our gratitude to God for his character in the hymns that we sing. But I think rejoicing in God is not so much just in who he is, but in the reality of his work in your life. So when you rejoice in the Lord, you're rejoicing in his mercy, you're rejoicing in his grace, you're rejoicing in his wisdom, you're rejoicing in his word, and for me you're rejoicing in his providence. You're rejoicing in the hand, the invisible hand of God that is ordering the flow of your life. That's when you're enjoying God. You're enjoying the forgiveness that he gives you day in and day out for your sin, the strength of the Spirit who indwells you, all the illumination of the Word of God. This is the source of all of our spiritual joy.

So we're going to have a great time in this study we launched today. It's titled Enjoying God, and we're going to do just that. We're going to look at John chapter 5, Jesus' view of the Father, and also Isaiah 6, experiencing the presence of God. We'll examine the relationship we have with God and why we should enjoy him as our Father and our Redeemer. The study is about putting aside the speculation about what God is like and truly understanding him from his Word and enjoying his presence, so stay with us. Yes, knowing God deeper so you can experience the full joy of your salvation.

That's what this study will help you do, and it's really, really important stuff, so let's get to it. Here's John helping you make sure you are enjoying God. Jesus knew God better than anybody, better than the theologians who have spared no ink in writing about him through the centuries, better than the erudite philosophers and thinkers who have voluminous efforts of thought regarding deity, better than the prophets who received their information by revelation, better than the apostles who the same received it by revelation, better than any human source whose mind is limited by the confines of humanness. Jesus knew God better than anybody. And Jesus said, you can trust God. You see, Jesus had spent all of eternity past in the presence of God. There never was a beginning of God and there never was a beginning of Jesus and so always they had been together.

And in John 1 it says they were proston theon, Jesus was face to face with God. In fact, in his high priestly prayer in John 17 he says, Father, give me back the glory I had with you before the world began. If anybody knows about God, he does. And he says, you can trust God with your life.

And so I began to think about that. If I really want to know what God is like, then I ought to listen to what Jesus says. And what does Jesus say about God? First of all, He gives us a great presentation of God, a great presentation of God in His words in the gospels. In John 4 24 He tells us about the nature of God. He says God is a spirit. In John 17 11 He tells us about the holiness of God. He says, Holy Father. And in John 17 25 He says, O righteous Father. And then Jesus repeatedly tells us about the justice of God. In Matthew 21 33 and following He tells about a vineyard owner who literally destroyed the wicked husbandmen who had ill-treated his servants and his son and that vineyard owner is God and He judges sin. In Matthew 22 He tells about a man who refused to wear the wedding garment and was cast into outer darkness.

In Matthew 25 He tells us about five foolish virgins who came too late and were left out. In Matthew 25 at the end of the chapter He even tells us as He dies on the cross that He is dying in effect under the devastation of divine judgment. And so Jesus tells us about the justice of God, about the holiness of God, about the nature of God. In Mark 10 27 He says, With God all things are possible. And so He tells us about the power of God. In Matthew 23 22 He talks about heaven being the place of the throne of God and thus He teaches us regarding the sovereignty of God. In Mark chapter 6 and verse 4 He says, The Father who sees in secret and thus He tells us of the omniscience of God. And in Matthew 6 32 He says, Your Father knows you have need. And He goes on to tell how if He clothes the grass of the field He'll clothe you too and thus He tells us about the care of God. In Matthew 5 45 He says He makes the rain fall on the just and the unjust and thus He defines the providence of God. If you want to know about God, listen to Jesus. He's known Him forever. Jesus taught us the major truths about God then, His nature, His holiness, His justice, His power, His sovereignty, His omniscience, His care and His providence.

But you know something? In all of that, and there's more even to that, we still haven't touched on the main lesson Jesus taught us about God. There is one lesson that supersedes every other lesson He ever gave. There is one title for God that is repeated in the Gospels 189 times.

One hundred and twenty-four of those times in the gospel of John alone. And that title for God is simply this, Father, Father. More than anything else, more than any other concept of God, more than any other theme about God, Jesus majored on the fact that He was a Father. Father was always Jesus' special way of referring to God. He said, my Father, our Father, your Father and just plain Father.

In fact, do you remember something? The first words Jesus ever utters in the chronology of His life occur in the place of the temple. His parents have begun their journey home. He's only twelve. They notice in the entourage that He isn't there. They go back and they say, what are you doing here, son? In effect, you remember what He said? Do you remember what He said?

Don't you know? I must be about what? My Father's business. Father was ever and always the theme of Jesus teaching about God. And I believe, people, in that wonderful passage in Luke 2 that you have in the primary confession of Jesus the germ of all His teaching about God. God, more than anything else, is my Father. What did Jesus teach us about the fatherhood of God? Let's go to John chapter 5, verses 17 to 24 and find out. This is the theology of Jesus regarding the fatherhood of God. Concentrate with me on this. Verse 17, Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto and I work. Stop right there.

You want to know what's going on? Jesus just healed a man, something that he should have been commended for, frankly. But because He had done it on the Sabbath, He was indicted as one who broke the rabbinical tradition, one who broke the law. And because He did this healing on the Sabbath, He had provoked a Jewish reaction and they literally were manifesting hatred and persecuting Him and even plotting His murder. And now Jesus gives them a speech which is meant to justify His healing on the Sabbath. But inherent in that speech where He justifies His healing on the Sabbath is a tremendous statement about God.

That's introduced in verse 17. And I believe He gives here five great qualities of the Father that become, in my mind, the standard for fatherhood. Listen, God did not get His title of Father from a human analogy. Man gets his definition of Father from God.

It's a big difference. God is the Father. And we see five qualities of His fatherhood as the Lord talks about it. Number one, the Father is one with His Son.

The Father is one with His Son. Look at it in verse 17. My Father works hitherto and I work.

Now what's He saying? He's saying God works on the Sabbath and I work on the Sabbath. I am one with God, so like God I work even on the Sabbath.

Now this, believe me, people, is an astounding statement in Jewish ears. Listen, in Mark 2 27 Jesus said, The Sabbath was made for man. You say, well now wait a minute, when God created six days, He rested on the Sabbath. No, He only rested from His creation.

If He'd arrested, everything He made would have fallen apart. He ended the work of creation. He began the work of sustaining all that He had made. God doesn't need any rest.

I just want to encourage you about that. In Isaiah 40 28 it says, The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, faints not, neither is weary. God doesn't have to rest. The rest that He spoke of from creation was to set a pattern for man who needs a day of rest, who needs a day to focus on worshiping Him. But Sabbath was made for man, and so God isn't bound by it. And if God wants to heal on the Sabbath, He'll heal. And Jesus in effect says, And so will I. And saying that, He is making Himself what? Equal with God. And that's exactly the message they got. Verse 18, Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill Him, because He not only had broken the Sabbath, but said that God was His Father, making Himself...what?...equal with God. You want to know something, beloved?

It's hard to understand this. But He was equal with God. He was God. One thing true about the Father, He is one with His Son.

He is one with His Son. Jesus further emphasizes this in verse 19, Then said Jesus unto them, Verily, verily, I say to you, The Son can do nothing of Himself but what He sees the Father do. For whatever things He doeth, these also doeth the Son in the same manner. He says, We're one, we work together.

We do things together. The point is this close and intimate communion between the Father and the Son. I think that it's aptly illustrated in the great prayer of our Lord in John 17 and verse 1, These words spoke, Jesus lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, Father, the hour has come, the hour has come. Glorify Thy Son that Thy Son also may glorify Thee. I have glorified Thee on earth.

I have finished the work Thou has given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was. In verse 21, He prays that they all may be one as Thou, Father, art in Me and I in Thee, that they may be one in us. In other words, over and again, Jesus knew that being a Son of God meant that He was one with the Father. There's a second thing here about the Father from Jesus' perspective. Not only is the Father one with the Son, but secondly, the Father loves His Son. Look at it in verse 20. Couldn't be simpler, for the Father loves the Son.

Stop right there. Jesus knew the Father loved Him. It's a unity of love. And back again to the 17th chapter where Jesus prays again in these words expressing this tremendous love, He says, I in them and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one, that the world may know that Thou has sent Me and has loved them as Thou has loved Me. He knew the Father loved Him. Verse 26, I have declared unto them Thy name and will declare it, that the love with which Thou has loved Me may be in them and I in them.

Listen, you want to know what Jesus thought about God? He said God is a Father. What does it mean that He's a Father, Jesus? It means He's one with His Son. What else does it mean? It means that He loves His Son.

As for God Himself, how many times did He say, this is My...what? Beloved Son. The first and foremost object of the Father's love is the Son.

There's a third thought here. The Father blesses the Son. Look at verse 20 again. And showeth Him all things that He Himself doeth and He will show Him greater works than these. The Father spares nothing for the Son, shows Him everything that He knows, everything that He has, everything that the Son could ever do and beyond what the Son had even seen in His human experience, God would allow Him to see and do. He spared nothing, nothing. The Father blesses the Son. I suppose that's why Jesus was full of grace and truth because God gave Him not the Spirit by what?

By measure. He showed the Son everything, spared nothing. Even the cross had its joys.

The Bible says He endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him. So the Father is one with His Son. The Father loves His Son. The Father blesses His Son.

There's a fourth thought. The Father gives authority to His Son. The Father gives authority to His Son. Verse 21, look at this. For as the Father raiseth up the dead and giveth them life, even so the Son giveth life to whom He will. For the Father judgeth no man but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.

Listen, you know what He's saying? He is saying equal authority is given to the Son. He will give life. He will bring to pass the judgment. And I believe what He's saying there in verse 21 is both a physical and a spiritual resurrection power. I believe it is the Son who with the Father gives life spiritually.

I believe it is the Son with the Father in the end who will give life to physical bodies as they come to the resurrection. And so we see that He is equal in power. He is equal in authority.

He is equal in His right to rule and reign and judge. Verse 25 further expresses this. The hour is coming and now is when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself and hath given Him authority to execute judgment and so forth. And so the Father has given authority to the Son, now watch this, to act in the Father's behalf, to act in the Father's behalf.

Tremendous thought. Now listen, the Father is one with His Son. The Father loves His Son. The Father blesses His Son. The Father gives power and authority to His Son. Finally, Jesus says of the Father, and I love this, He honors the Son. He honors the Son. Verse 23, and He calls all the world to that honor, that all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son, honoreth not the Father who hath sent Him. And by the way, verse 24 brings the sum of it, He that hears My word and believes on Him that sent Me hath everlasting life. If you listen to this command to honor the Son, if you kiss the Son, if you embrace the Son, you will be raised to everlasting life. If you do not, you will come into judgment. And so the Father honors the Son.

Now let me sum it up. God is a Father from Jesus' perspective who is one with His Son, who loves His Son, blesses His Son, empowers His Son, and honors His Son. I believe people, but that is probably the most concise theological statement Jesus ever made about the Father.

It sums it up so beautifully. How did He see the Father in those five ways? Say, well, that's nice for Him, but after all, we're not deity. I mean, what does that have to do with us? We're not sinless perfection. We're sinful imperfection. We're men, not God. Jesus was God. Jesus even said in John 14, if you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.

I mean, how does this apply to us? Is God such a Father to me as He is to Christ? Is God such a Father that He would make me one, that He would love me and bless me and give me power and authority and honor? Is God such a Father to me? Listen, Hebrews chapter 2. Look at it. Hebrews chapter 2 and verse 11.

This is just a tremendous statement. Listen. For both He that sanctifieth... Now who is the only person in the universe who can sanctify? God. For both He that sanctifieth and they who are left and they who are sanctified are all of what?

One. For which cause He, that is Christ the Lord, is not ashamed to call them what? Brethren, is that great? Is God such a Father to me as He is to Christ? Yes. Verse 12 says it, saying, I will declare Thy name unto my brothers in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto Thee.

Listen to this, people. Jesus sees Himself here in this magnificent prophecy of Psalm 22, standing in the assembly of the redeemed and standing with arm in arm the brothers who belong to the family and together raising praise to God. Jesus sees Himself as one of us and calls us brothers. Is God such a Father to us as He is to Christ? Jesus called us brothers.

He called us brothers. In Romans chapter 8, there is yet another word. In verse 14, for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God and if children then heirs, heirs of God and what? Joint heirs with Christ, co-heirs with Christ. Is God such a Father to us as He is to Christ?

Yes. That's exactly what Paul is saying. That's exactly what the writer of Hebrews is saying. Peter said it this way.

Listen to his words. Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. According as His divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness through the knowledge of Him that has called us to glory and virtue by which are given unto us exceedingly great and precious promises. Now listen, that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature. Listen, when you became a Christian you became a partaker of the divine nature. When you believed in Christ you became in Christ. When you were saved you became one with the Lord Jesus. His life is imputed to you.

Nevertheless you live yet not you but what? Christ lives in you. God sees you as one with His Son, as one with Himself, as the equal recipient of all that His Fatherhood and its benediction may mean. When Jesus talks about Father, He isn't just talking for Himself, He's talking for you and for me.

Let's pray. Thank you, Father. Thank you for the joy that's in our hearts because you ran one day and threw your arms around us when we weren't worthy, when we didn't deserve it, but you loved us anyway. Thank you for being such a father to us that you are to Jesus Christ, for making us one with you, loving us, blessing us, giving us authority and honor. We praise you in Jesus' name. Amen. This is Grace to You with John MacArthur.

Thanks for being with us. John is a pastor, author, and chancellor of the Masters University and Seminary. His lesson today will be the first installment in a new series, Enjoying God.

Now this brief study on Enjoying God is one you're sure to want to review long after it ends on Friday. And like all of John's series, you can download it for free at our website. To download John's study, Enjoying God, or to purchase the two-CD album, contact us today.

You'll find all of our free resources online at gty.org. And keep in mind, the downloads will have a lot of material that we just don't have time to air on the radio. Again, to download the sermons or the transcripts, go to gty.org. Or if you'd like Enjoying God on CD, you can order the album when you call 800-55-GRACE. Or you can also get it at our website, gty.org. And friend, this radio series is just one example of our commitment to taking biblical truth to people around the world.

And it's listeners like you that make it possible to keep that commitment. You help us keep this broadcast on thousands of radio stations in the English and Spanish-speaking parts of the world. If you'd like to partner with us, you can mail your tax-deductible donation to Grace To You, Box 4000, Panorama City, CA 91412. You can also donate online at gty.org or when you call us at 800-55-GRACE. That's our toll-free number one more time, 800-55-GRACE. Now for John MacArthur, I'm Phil Johnson, reminding you to watch Grace To You Television this Sunday, check your local listings for Channel and Times, and also join us tomorrow for another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth, one verse at a time, on Grace To You.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-21 21:14:37 / 2023-05-21 21:24:19 / 10

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