In John 5, Jesus heals a man on the Sabbath which draws the ire from the Pharisees who had more restrictive views of Sabbath practices. In John 5:17, Jesus says:
“My Father is working until now, and I am working.”
In response to Jesus pointing to God as his Father, the Pharisees begin to actively conspire against Jesus.
18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
We know the end of the story. Jesus is ultimately crucified. But it is because Jesus said that God was his father that jump started the Pharisees in their conspiracy against him.
In an event which is not recorded in John, Jesus is before the Pharisees. The sonship question comes up again.
the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
That’s the final straw in Matthew’s gospel and the Pharisees seek to have Jesus crucified.
Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. 66 What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.” 67 Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him, 68 saying, “Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?” (Matthew 26:65-68).
The pharisees look at the words of Christ as blasphemy.
But it wasn’t. It was the truth.
Incarnationally, morally, theologically, Jesus is the Son of God and God is his father.
But in John 5, we see the opposition rising.
What started as a miracle turned into a Sabbath controversy.
And what became a Sabbath controversy was intensified by Jesus pointing to himself and his relation to God.
The sonship of Christ and the fatherhood of God points us to the gospel.
We are God’s children, created in his image who had forsaken God through our sin.
Jesus is the perfect Son of God who was forsaken so we could be forgiven for our sins.
As radical as it is that Jesus addressed God as his father, he invited us to do the same when he taught the disciples how to pray in the Sermon on the Mount.
your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name. (Matthew 6:9)
The Apostle Paul says in the opening salutations of all of his letters: grace and peace to you from God our father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The fatherhood of God is bestowed upon the people of God because Jesus is the true Son of God.
Jesus is the son of God who allows us to be adopted as God’s children and to approach God as our own father.
John 1:12 says:
to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God
The adoption language is used by Paul at the beginning of his letter to the Ephesians.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1:3-5)
That’s the Good News of the Gospel. The Son of God allows us to call God our father.
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