June 21, 2020
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Did you ever wonder about God as a father, not the heavenly father that we talk about here in church but rather as a father in the sense of the word that we understand the title “father” to mean?
For the purpose of this message, I want you to forget the difficulties you may have in understanding the relationship of the Trinity, and instead focus on the relationship of Jesus and God as they chose to reveal themselves to us, as Father and son.
When we consider the opening scripture and what it says, there are sure to be some people that will ask what kind of Father God really is.
Because if we take our earthly understanding of what a father should be like we are left to ask the obvious question, what kind of father would send his son to such a painful death in order to rescue from hell and damnation those who defy, denounce, mock, and outright deny his very existence, setting aside the point that his son would be resurrected, because even in light of the resurrection he was still sent to suffer.
For those of us that are fathers, can you imagine sending not one of your sons, but your only son into a place where he would suffer the way Jesus suffered?
Can you imagine not only sending your son to such an evil place but sending him there without any of the comforts of home, to live a life where he is not recognized as who he really is and knowing that he will be thought of and treated less than his true stature would dictate?
If we were to apply the worlds standards of a father to God He would not only fail to ever win “Father of the year” but child protective services would show up and take Jesus away from Him and send Him to jail for Child abuse.
So, it’s a good thing that God is not subject to mankind’s description of a father let alone our description of a good father, yet as with many of the things that involve God, not everything is as it would first appear.
When we step back and examine more closely not only why God did what he did concerning Jesus, but what His actions say about Him as a father, we can see that Gods definition of a father and His example of how a good father should act is a lot more involved than what we think.
When we think of the word “father” more than not our definition of that word stops at the boundary of his children, the title ceases to reach beyond his youngest child and the love and admiration that is usually felt in his children that usually go with the title means only something to those in whom he had a hand in making, in other words, the love and respect that the father receives is usually only given by those who can rightfully call Him Father.
But for God, being a father is much more than that, to God being a father reaches beyond the “begotten” and touches those who by birth right cannot claim him as father. To God the word “father” is more than a title it is a description of boundless love.
To God being a father means that there will be sacrifices, it means that there will be times when tears will be present both tears of joy and tears of sorrow, there will be times of wrath and times of peace, there will be times for conviction and times for forgiveness, there will be times that he will draw his children closer to him and times when he will push them away, there will be times for conversation and times for silence, the only constant in the life of a Good father, is love.
Love, what a very unique word “love” is, this word means so many different things to so many people that I don’t think anyone can really define it as a whole. We know its symptoms, we know that there are many types of love, we know we use it to express how we feel about something that we find pleasurable, I love chocolate, I love going to the movies, I love sports, I love my dog, I love my cat, but is this the type of love talked about in the opening scripture?
“For God so loved the world”
Would you send your child to experience what Jesus did in order for you to have a piece of chocolate, would you send your child to experience what Jesus did so that you could go the movies, or a sporting event, would you send your child to experience what Jesus did so you could save your pet? If I had to guess I would say that you wouldn’t.
In our world and in our existence, we have dumbed down the word “Love” to where it has lost its true meaning. The over use of the word to describe the emotion of strongly liking something has tarnished the true force behind the word, so when in scripture it is said that God so LOVED the world do, we really understand the fierceness behind the word?
When we read John 3:16 what does that say to you about the love that God had for the world or rather the souls that reside in the world, what kind of love is this that would cause God to send His only begotten son to experience what he did in order to save those who may not even know him yet and those who don’t even love Him, and what does it say about His love for Jesus?
It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense does it?
God the father, able to do anything He wishes, sent his son to suffer and die for souls that he could have just as easily destroyed and replaced with new ones, but instead he chose the course of action He did so that those undeserving souls would not only have a chance to know Him but would have a chance to Love him back and be saved.
Even though there are those in this world who still deny God and even though the world seems to grow more evil as the days go by, we can still see the piece of God that he has imparted in all of mankind.
When you see Fathers who sacrifice for their children you are seeing the love of God whether they know it or not, When you see fathers teaching their children that there is a greater purpose in life than themselves you are seeing the love of God, when you have fathers that teach their children that kindness, charity, compassion, forgiveness, truth and self-sacrifice are the most honorable traits they can have, then you are seeing the love of God, again whether they know it or not, it is the Finger print of God that can be found on all of his creations called mankind.
And for those who still cannot understand the Father of John 3:16 I have to ask you, what do you say about the fathers out there who encourage their children who have expressed the desire to become service men and women so that they may serve their country knowing that they may lose their life for the greater good, what do you say to the Father who encourages the child who wishes to become a police officer knowing that by protecting others it may cause them to lose their own lives, what do you say to the father that encourages their child who desires to become a fireman knowing that they too may lose their child for the good of a stranger?
What do we say to the Fathers who have raised children to believe that to serve others for reasons other than a paycheck is an honorable thing?
What do we say to the man who, by choice, has taken on the role and title of father to a child that is not biologically his, not because he loves the mother, not because there is a material gain in it for him, but simply because there is a love and compassion that resides in his heart for that child, to become a father not for selfish needs, but for the sake of the child.
Can we see the father of John 3:16 in them?
The father of John 3:16 had a purpose in mind when he sent His son to us and that purpose continues in John 3:17 “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Isn’t this the highest form of Love, that through the sacrifice and actions of ourselves we can hopefully have a positive impact on our fellow man?
For the Christian father it goes beyond our children’s impact on those around them, for the Christian father we understand what Jesus meant when he said in
John 14:9 “he that has seen me, has seen the Father”.
For the Christian father we teach our children about kindness, charity, compassion, forgiveness, truth and self-sacrifice not because we believe it will bring them riches but because we understand that it will enrich them as a person.
We understand that when our children have these attributes that it will reflect well on us and brings us honor and in turn will reflect well on our heavenly Father to whom we have entrusted the welfare of our own children because of our love and faith in HIM.
In a world where sin dominates, and don’t be fooled it does dominate, there is a need for fortresses of good, there is a need for sign posts that point to safety, in a world with so much darkness there is a need for light and we understand the sacrifices that must be made in order for that light and those signs and fortresses to be present in this world.
So for the Christian father we understand the Father behind John 3:16 we understand the love of that father, we understand the relationship that the father of John 3:16 has with His Son and we understand His love for that Son, we understand that like the Father of John 3:16 we don’t want our children to suffer, we don’t want our children to be abused, we don’t want our children to die, but we understand that a life lived in kindness, charity, compassion, forgiveness, truth and self-sacrifice in the name of Jesus Christ is a life where there is Hope and resurrection into Glory.
Who here would not be proud of our child if our child gave their life in order to save another?
Who here would not be proud of their child if their child lived their life in service to others especially if it made those other lives better, who here would not be proud of their children if they showed others that could not do for them in return, kindness, charity, compassion, forgiveness, truth and self-sacrifice?
Can you understand the father behind the child who would live their life in that way, the father that said to his child I love you so much that I never want you to suffer but if through your suffering there is salvation for those in need of salvation I am not only willing to let you go but I will encourage you to go and send you with my blessing?
The Christian father should live his life in the way that Christ lived His so that he can show his children by example the way Christ lived for us.
When we understand with our mortal minds even a piece of what that kind of love means, then we can start to understand the type of Father God is and the type of father the men of this world should strive to be, regardless of whether or not their earthly fathers were good or bad or even in between, because in God we have the perfect example.
God who sacrificed his only begotten Son so that others may be reconciled to Him and therefore who may share in all he has to offer, God who loved his creation enough to allow the blood of his Son to convert the created from lost souls into His children once again, God who sacrificed His son, knowing that these bodies and this life that we call home are but temporary and fleeting and will one day yield to that eternity and gave us a way so that we may now call Him father and return to Him as well.
That is the Father of John 3:16