In today’s study, Derek looks at how Jesus revealed God as Father. He did this by living like a Son of God, trusting in and obeying His Father. He came to reveal the Father’s heart to a world that didn’t know what it was to have a loving, merciful Father who cared for them and offered them rest.
I was sometimes aware of some dark force. I mean I was saved, baptized in the Spirit, speaking in tongues, praying for people, seeing the sick healed, but there was always a sense somehow in the background somewhere there was something dark. And I believe it was that Indian god, and I believe I know the name of the god,--But I’m not going to give the name because the Bible says “don’t use the names of foreign gods”—had followed me up through my life through more than fifty-five years of Christian ministry. But it’s power and it’s presence had never been totally excluded. And I want to say to you, in my experience which has been extensive the things that happen early in our lives are sometimes the most decisive and the hardest to deal with, even things that happened to us before we were actually born, while we were still in our mother’s womb. It takes the Holy Spirit to uncover these things and show us how to deal with them.
I’m not a psychologist, I’m not a psychiatrist, I’m just a preacher. But, since that experience there has been a profound ongoing change in my spiritual experience. I want to try to show you from Scripture how you can come into the same kind of relationship. I want to give you some Scriptures. Now I’m not going to base this on subjective personal experience. I’m going to base it strictly on Scriptures. In Hebrews chapter 1, verses 1 and 2, the Scripture says this,
“God, who at various times and in different ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, [Now the word His is in italics. It means it’s not there in the original text.] whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; [or the ages]”
The Scripture’s talking about two different ways in which God speaks. He speaks in the prophets, but in a different way He speaks in a Son. Not the Son, a son. It’s not a difference of person, it’s a difference of ways. Andrew Murray translates that, spoken to us sonwise. A different kind of approach. The prophets could reveal so much, but when God wanted to reveal Himself as Father there was only one person in the Universe who could do that and it was the Son. And that’s why the Son came, to complete and fulfill the message of the prophets, but also to bring a revelation that no prophet could ever bring—the revelation of the Father.
And then in John 17 we have what’s called the High Priestly prayer of Jesus, where He’s praying to the Father on behalf of His disciples who were with Him there. And in part of this prayer speaking to the Father, verse 6 of John 17, He says,
“I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave me out of the world.” [That’s His disciples.]
Now there are two things I want to comment on. First of all what name had He manifested? Now the Jewish people for about fourteen centuries have been familiar with the name that we call Jehovah or Yaweh, the sacred name of God which is never pronounced by the Jewish people, only written. They’ve known that name. That was not something new to them. What was the name that Jesus manifested to His disciples? If you read the prayer you will find it’s the name Father. And it occurs six times in that chapter. Jesus came to manifest the name of the Father. And the word manifest is important. He didn’t just come to talk about it, He came to demonstrate it.
How did He demonstrate the reality of the Father to His disciples? By living like a Son of God. He was never frightened, never perplexed, never in despair. He never failed to know what to do because the Father was always with Him. They saw in the life of Jesus a different kind of life. They were familiar with the prophets. They were familiar with Moses. They were familiar with men who had done tremendous signs and wonders and spoken mighty words. But here was a Man who lived knowing that He had a Father in heaven. And Jesus, by His whole life from beginning to end, manifested the name Father. That’s why He came. That’s why God sent Him, because only a Son can reveal the Father. The prophets can speak about it, teach about it, but they cannot reveal Him, they cannot manifest Him.
And then in Matthew 11, verse 27, Jesus is speaking and He says,
“All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and He to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”
So “no one knows the Son but the Father, and no one knows the Father but the Son and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal the Father.” So I want to tell you very clearly tonight I cannot reveal the Father to you. Nor can any preacher do that. There’s only one person who can reveal the Father, that is the Son. If you are to know the Father it must be by the revelation of the Son. We are shut up to that, otherwise it’s not there.
Then Jesus continues, and I love these words and they are familiar and famous to many people. Now listen to this.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Oh, those words in Greek are so vivid. All you who are carrying burdens. Who are struggling. Who find it hard going. Who sometimes wonder if you will ever make it through. Jesus says, “Come to Me. And I will give you rest.”
“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
What was His yoke and His burden? To do the Father’s will. It was His relationship with the Father. And He said, “If you’re struggling, if you’re perplexed, if you’re anxious, if your frustrated, if you’re not satisfied with the way your life is going, come to Me. And I can reveal the Father to you and that will be a life-changing revelation.” It will give you a new sense of belonging. It will bring you into true rest.
How many of you are really enjoying rest? There’s not much rest in our contemporary culture. You can look there for it in vain. So do you know what rest is? Do you know what it is to relax? There’s only one place you can find rest—in the bosom of the Father. Jesus will reveal Him to you. I can’t do it. I can tell you about it, I can pray for you, but only Jesus can do it.