Not too long before the cross, Jesus spoke with His inner circle about how people can come to the Father through Him. It was then that Philip said: “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us” (John 14:8, NKJV).
How did Jesus respond to Philip? John 14:9. What does His response teach us about the Father? What misconceptions about God should His response clear up?
Some people say that the God of the Old Testament is a God of justice in comparison to the God of the New Testament, who is full of mercy and grace and forgiveness. They draw a distinction between the two that is not valid. It’s the same God, with the same traits, in both the Old and New Testaments.
One reason Christ came to this world was to reveal the truth about God the Father. Through the centuries, wrong ideas about Him and His character had become widespread, not just among the heathen but among God’s chosen nation, as well. “The earth was dark through misapprehension of God. That the gloomy shadows might be lightened, that the world might be brought back to God, Satan’s deceptive power was to be broken”. — Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 22. These were some of the reasons that Jesus came to this earth.
God does not change. If we knew all the facts surrounding events in the Old Testament, we would find God just as merciful in the Old Testament as He is in the New. Scripture declares, “God is love” (1 John 4:8), and God does not change. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb. 13:8, NRSV) .
Remember, too, it was the God of the Old Testament who hung on the cross.
This God is also gracious, compassionate, and slow to anger (Ps. 145:8) . God has unfailing love (Ps. 143:8) and delights in His followers (Ps. 147:11) . God plans to prosper people and give them hope (Jer. 29:11) . In His love, He will no longer rebuke but rejoices over His people with singing (Zeph. 3:17) . This, and so much more, is what God the Father is truly like.
|Think about the fact that Jesus represents God the Father. Why is this such a wonderful and hopeful truth, especially for those who might sometimes be afraid of God?|