Jesus said to him [Thomas], “Have you believed because you have seen me?” John 20:29 This theme of seeing and believing runs right through John’s Gospel. John describes how he and Peter arrived at the empty tomb. Peter arrived first, and then John followed him: “The other disciple who had...
“Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” Luke 2:49
In these first recorded words of Jesus, he speaks of God as “my Father.”
Jesus spoke about God as his Father in a way that was quite different from the way any worshiper would speak of God. This difference was quite clear to the Jewish leaders who heard Jesus speak. John tells us that they wanted to kill Jesus because he was “calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God” (John 5:18).
There is a special intimacy about the way Jesus addresses God as his Father. We see it in the Garden of Gethsemane: “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will” (Mat. 26:39). And we see it when he is nailed to the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
When Jesus was speaking with his disciples, he described God as “your Father”—“Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Mat. 5:16). There is only one time when Jesus says “our Father,” and that is when he tells his disciples how to pray—“Pray then like this: ‘Our Father in heaven…’” (Mat. 6:9).
After the resurrection, Jesus sends word to the disciples: “I am ascending to my Father and your Father” (John 20:17). It is very striking that Jesus speaks of God as “my Father” and “your Father.” Augustine drew attention to the significance of this distinction: for Jesus, God is Father by nature and by right, but for us, he is Father by grace and by adoption.
As you pray, reflect on how God, the Father of Jesus, has become your Father.