Did you know that the word Jesus uses in addressing God, in Mark 14:36, is a term of endearment equivalent to our word dad, or daddy. It’s the Aramaic word “abba”. Paul teaches us to use the same word when we are addressing God in prayer. In Romans 8:15 Paul tells us, “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. {Or adoption} And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” He echoes that teaching in Galatians 4:6 when he writes, “Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”

I know some of us get a little uncomfortable thinking about God in these terms. That’s one of the things that got Jesus in so much trouble – he displayed such intimacy with God, and taught others to do the same. That was completely unheard of in that day, and it was completely unacceptable to the religious leaders of Jesus’ time. They preferred to keep their relationship with God on a formal level that made it easier to control God (so they thought) and the people. We do that because intimate relationships can be very messy and complicated.

Case in point. If we truly learn to relate to God in these terms then we have to accept everything that is included in that type of relationship. For instance, Proverbs 3:11, 12 states, “do not despise the LORD’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” The writer of Hebrews quotes these verses in chapter 12, verses 5 and 6, and then goes on in verse 7-11 to remind us that, if anything, godly discipline is even more applicable for New Covenant believers, who have become the natural children of God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (John 1:12).

It’s great to think of God in terms of intimacy when we need comforting and encouragement. However, we are not as thrilled with that intimacy when God demonstrates his love for us by correcting us through his wise and loving discipline.


1 Response to “Dad”

  1. 1 Dan
    January 13, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    I think this is the relationship we should be seeking with God. Turning to him for everything in good times and bad. Intimacy is a huge part of any relationship and there are times we are not going to be so happy. We need to understand that God has a plan and ours is not always inline with His. As humans it’s in our nature to seek relationships, but we also tend to set limits on how deep they go. When it comes top our relationship with God, there should be no limits or restrictions.

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