Father in Heaven

Who Is Our Father in Heaven?

Rhonda RobinsonBy Rhonda Robinson3 Minutes

Jesus taught us to pray and claimed a radical relationship with God — one that is both personal and relational. It was, at that time, a profound shift from Jewish tradition. Jesus called the almighty God, his Father. Not only did he call God Father, but he also taught us to do so as well.

God himself, confirmed Jesus’ claim at his baptism.

In Mark 1:9 we read that Jesus was baptized in the Jordan river, which means John immersed Jesus under water and brought him out. But just as Jesus emerged from the water, the heavens were torn open and the Spirit was descending on him like a dove. Then a voice from heaven proclaimed: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

Jesus introduced God as a relational God in a time when gods were feared and given sacrifices. This was a totally radical departure from the norm. Jesus rocked their world. He was hated for it. To have the audacity to claim to have an intimate personal relationship as close as a father-son relationship, put him in the crosshairs of the religious establishment of the day. And yet, it pleased God.

At its core, Jesus’ baptism was an intimately personal experience. God showed up. The Creator of the universe claimed Jesus as his own. In turn, Jesus introduced the world to a God, that loves as a father loves his child.

In every prayer we know of, Jesus referred to our creator God as “Father.”

At his death, Jesus called out to God when he cried, “abba,” which is the term used by little Jewish children in the same way that our little ones say “Daddy.” It is a term of endearment, used only in the closest relationship known to the human race. That of a small child and a beloved parent. That was the term he used to call out to a sovereign God, the creator of heaven and earth, in the moment of unspeakable pain and death.

Jesus gave us the right and privilege to call upon our creator and address him as our father when he taught us to pray. He instructed us to pray privately. Shut the door and pray to “your Father” who is not seen. Then, he explained that our Father who sees in secret will reward us openly.

He connected us, as father and child. And taught us to pray, “Our Father, who is in heaven …”