Jesus Reveals His Father's Name
I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. (John 17:6 NIV)
In John 17, Jesus is praying to his Father and giving an account of the things he has accomplished during his time on earth. It reads like the completion, or fulfilment, of a mission statement: "This is what you sent me to do and this is what I have done".
The prayer contains an important list of things the Son has done is making his Father known.
"I have revealed you", a number of other translations say "I have revealed your name". This is much more than a formal introduction of one person to another. Jesus is saying that he has revealed the complete personality, nature and character of his Father. Hebrews 1:3 tells us that Jesus is the exact representation of the Father. Throughout his life, Jesus has shown us exactly what the Father is like. Indeed, at the end of this chapter we read that Jesus goes on revealing the Father.
Moses caught a glimpse of what God was like but we see the complete picture of who he is. Jesus healed people, the Father heals. Jesus cared for the marginalised in society, the Father cares for them too. Jesus valued and affirmed people, the Father does too. Jesus provided for people, our Father is a provider.
Too often, we try and form a picture of what God is like by taking historical or stereotypical images and thinking they are a good picture of God. Why do we do that when we have the life and example of Jesus who was the exact image of the Father?
In Matthew 11:25-27 we are told that we can know the Father, Jesus will reveal him to us. No longer is the Father hidden, he has clearly made himself known to us.
For too long we have thought of God as being distant, angry and unknowable. This is not the case. He is our loving Father and he wants to be a Father to you.
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