Why Does the Lord Jesus Call Jehovah Father?
One day when reading the Bible, I came across the following verses, “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, see, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting on him: And see a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:16–17), and the Lord Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39). I thought to myself, “Since God called the Lord Jesus His beloved Son and the Lord Jesus called God in heaven Father, the Lord Jesus must be the Son of God.” But then it occurred to me, “Isn’t there only one true God? How come there is the relationship of Father and Son?” With this question, I consulted many spiritual books, but to my disappointment, none of them could resolve my confusion.
One day, I once again studied the Bible with my confusion, during which I came across the following verses, “Philip said to him, Lord, show us the Father, and it suffises us. Jesus said to him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet have you not known me, Philip? he that has seen me has seen the Father; and how say you then, Show us the Father? Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak to you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwells in me, he does the works” (John 14:8–10), and “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30). I was surprised to find that Philip also regarded the Lord Jesus and God in heaven as two Gods, and thought that the Lord Jesus had a Father in heaven and that He was the Son of God the Father. That was why he said to the Lord, “Lord, show us the Father.” But the Lord Jesus said, “I am in the Father, and the Father in me,” “he that has seen me has seen the Father,” and “I and my Father are one.” Here, the Lord Jesus didn’t say that God and He were Father and Son, but that He is the Father and the Father is He and that They are one. There is no “Father-Son relationship” to speak of. So, the Lord Jesus is the appearance of God Himself, the incarnate God Himself. Then I began to wonder: “Since the Lord Jesus is not the Son of God but the unique God Himself, why did He call God in heaven Father when He prayed?”
Later, I got acquainted with Sister Li on the internet. Finding her fellowship about the truth practical and edifying, I then poured out my confusion to her. Through communicating with her, I finally understood this aspect of the truth. The sister fellowshiped, “I used to have the same confusion as you do. When I saw in the Bible that the Holy Spirit testified that the Lord Jesus was God’s beloved Son, and that the Lord Jesus called God in heaven Father, I concluded that the Lord Jesus was the Son of God. But when I read these words of the Lord, ‘I am in the Father, and the Father in me,’ and ‘I and my Father are one,’ I got totally bewildered: The Lord Jesus clearly said the Father is the Son and the Son is the Father, and that They are one; so why did He still pray to God the Father? Later I read some words of God on a website, through which I came to understand the truth of this aspect. Let’s take a look at what God’s words say. God says, ‘When Jesus called God in heaven by the name of Father as He prayed, this was done only from the perspective of a created man, only because the Spirit of God had clothed Himself as an ordinary and normal man and had the exterior cover of a created being. Even if within Him was the Spirit of God, His exterior appearance was still that of an ordinary man; in other words, He had become the “Son of man” of which all men, including Jesus Himself, spoke. Given that He is called the Son of man, He is a person (whether man or woman, in any case one with the exterior shell of a human being) born into a normal family of ordinary people. Therefore, Jesus calling God in heaven by the name of Father was the same as how you at first called Him Father; He did so from the perspective of a man of creation. Do you still remember the Lord’s Prayer that Jesus taught you to memorize? “Our Father in heaven….” He asked all man to call God in heaven by the name of Father. And since He too called Him Father, He did so from the perspective of one who stands on an equal footing with you all. Since you called God in heaven by the name of Father, this shows that Jesus saw Himself to be on equal footing with you, and as a man on earth chosen by God (that is, the Son of God). If you call God “Father,” is this not because you are a created being? However great the authority of Jesus on earth, prior to the crucifixion, He was merely a Son of man, governed by the Holy Spirit (that is, God), and one of the earth’s created beings, for He had yet to complete His work. Therefore, His calling God in heaven Father was solely His humility and obedience. His addressing God (that is, the Spirit in heaven) in such a manner, however, does not prove that He is the Son of the Spirit of God in heaven. Rather, it is simply that His perspective is different, not that He is a different person. The existence of distinct persons is a fallacy! Prior to His crucifixion, Jesus was a Son of man bound by the limitations of the flesh, and He did not fully possess the authority of the Spirit. That is why He could only seek the will of God the Father from the perspective of a created being. It is as He thrice prayed in Gethsemane: “Not as I will, but as you will.” Before He was laid on the cross, He was but the King of the Jews; He was Christ, the Son of man, and not a body of glory. That is why, from the standpoint of a created being, He called God Father.’”
After finishing reading, Sister Li continued with her fellowship, “Here, God’s words make it clear that the Lord Jesus is the fleshly incarnation of God’s Spirit, that is, God’s Spirit materialized in the flesh. But because God’s Spirit does not do anything supernatural within His flesh, the flesh itself is unaware of the Spirit’s presence. It is just as how we cannot feel our spirit within us. Therefore, if God’s Spirit had not spoken and testified that He was God’s incarnation, the Lord Jesus couldn’t have known His true identity. When the Lord Jesus formally began His ministry at the age of 29, the Holy Spirit began to bear witness to His own incarnation, that is, God bore witness to Himself. That’s when the Lord Jesus realized that He is God incarnate, and that He had come to do the work of redemption. When He was to be crucified He still prayed to God the Father, which was Him praying to God’s Spirit from the perspective of a created being. This shows that the substance of the Lord Jesus Christ is obedience to God. Since it is thus, why didn’t the Spirit of God directly testify the Lord Jesus as God Himself, but as His beloved Son? Well, that was because people at that time had no idea what it meant for God to be incarnated. In their mind, they thought God is the Spirit, who once appeared to them in the pillar of cloud or fire. If the Holy Spirit had testified that God was incarnated as the Son of man and that the Son of man was God Himself, they wouldn’t have accepted it. Therefore, according to man’s real stature, God’s Spirit bore witness that the Lord Jesus was His beloved Son, temporarily allowing men to regard the Lord Jesus as God’s Son, which was more compatible with their conceptions and made it easier for them to accept the Lord’s work and salvation. At that time, regardless of how people called the Lord Jesus, as long as they could accept His redemptive work, call on His name in prayer, and confess and repent their sins to Him, they would be forgiven of their sins and obtain His grace and blessings, and God’s intention to save man in the Age of Grace would be achieved. Actually, when the Lord Jesus formally performed His ministry, His words and work were full of authority and power, which had already proven that He was God Himself. Therefore, He said, ‘I am in the Father, and the Father in me,’ ‘he that has seen me has seen the Father,’ and ‘I and my Father are one.’ Although the appearance of the Lord Jesus was ordinary and normal, His substance was divinity and He did the work that no one could do: He expressed the truth and preached the gospel ‘Repent you: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’; He taught man to be tolerant and patient, to love their enemies and love their neighbors as themselves, to forgive others seventy times seven times, and so on; He also performed many miracles, such as feeding five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish, calming the wind and sea, and resurrecting Lazarus. In the end He was nailed to the cross as a sin offering for mankind, completing the work of redemption. From His words and work, we can see God’s authority and power — which rule over all things — as well as His almightiness, wisdom, and wondrous deeds. All this fully proves that God’s Spirit appeared in the flesh as the Lord Jesus to speak to and work for man. So we can completely confirm that the Lord Jesus is God Himself.”
After listening to Sister Li’s communication, I felt that everything suddenly became clear and the confusion in my heart was finally solved. At the same time, I felt very ashamed and humiliated. I had believed in the Lord Jesus for many years, during which I enjoyed a lot of grace and blessings from Him, but I actually didn’t know that He is God Himself. I just regarded Him as the Son of God and never treated Him as God, so every time I prayed to the Lord, I would also pray to the heavenly Father. How was this believing in God? Now through God’s words and the sister’s fellowship, I came to understand that no matter how ordinary and normal God’s incarnate flesh is, or what He is called by, in essence He is God Himself appearing in the flesh. Having understood this, I sincerely offered my thanks to God.
All the glory be to God!
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