ABBA, FA­THER

Big Spring Herald - - RELIGION -

Most pre­cious to us of all the ti­tles of God, “Fa­ther” is es­sen­tially a New Tes­ta­ment name for the one re­vealed “here a lit­tle, there a lit­tle” in var­i­ous Old tes­ta­ment ti­tles we will con­sider over the next sev­eral weeks in these ar­ti­cles.

The fi­nal un­veil­ing of His char­ac­ter as “Fa­ther” had to await the In­car­na­tion of the Lord Je­sus Christ. This sim­ple, yet pro­found and won­drous name ex­presses the most in­ti­mate re­la­tion­ship with Hm­self unto which He brings the re­deemed among men, in Je­sus Christ.

The most sat­is­fy­ing words the hu­man heart can know and tongue can ut­ter.

“Abba, Fa­ther,” are the gift of the Gospel to all who be­lieve. It was our Lord Him­self who first taught His dis­ci­ples to say, “Our Fa­ther...”

Abba is an Ara­maic word mean­ing “Fa­ther.” It is very sim­ple to pro­nounce so that a baby could say it even be­fore cut­ting its first tooth. It was in­deed the very first word which He­brew ba­bies of our Lord’s day cus­tom­ar­ily spoke; and un­doubt­edly, was the first word formed by in­fant lips of Je­sus. The phrase “Abba, Fa­ther” re­peats the same word in Ara­maic and Greek. The rea­son for this is that in the orig­i­nal scrip­tures the Ara­maic Abba was trans­lated into the Greek word Pater, “Fa­ther,” for the ben­e­fit of Greek -speak­ing read­ers who could not un­der­stand Ara­maic. This phrase - which has be­come a cher­ished ti­tle of God - unites Jew and Gen­tile in a com­mon ad­dress to Him as Fa­ther. It ex­presses the fact that the “mid­dle wall of par­ti­tion” be­tween Jew and Gen­tile is bro­ken down (Ehh. 2:14); we are “all one in Christ Je­sus” (Gala­tians 3:28).

The ten­der­ness of the re­la­tion­ship and the wealth of grace ex­pressed in the word “Fa­ther” can never be fully ex­pressed. In our hu­mane life we have a faint pic­ture of it in ev­ery cher­ished tie be­tween fa­ther and child.

The word “fa­ther” shares with “mother” the most hon­ored place in the lan­guage of hu­mane re­la­tion­ships. When ap­plied to God it con­tains the full value of both worlds. Read the fol­low­ing pas­sages: John 3:16, 35; 10:15, 18: 1 John 4:10. In the eter­nal coun­sels it was de­ter­mined and in the ful­fill­ment of that eter­nal covenant Christ came,and re­deemed us unto God. “The Son of God...loved me,” said Paul, ‘and gave Him­self for me” (Gala­tians 2:20).

That love, “so amaz­ing, so di­vine,” evokes re­spond­ing love in our dull hearts and quick­ens the cry of ador­ing son­ship, “Abba, Fa­ther.”

Ralph an­deR­son

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