When we recite the Lord’s Prayer and say, “Our Father,” it’s ho hum. It’s no big deal. Of course God is our Father. What else would God be?
The reason for this is because of over two thousand years of Christian history. We’ve become accustomed to something that would have been absolutely shocking, horrifying, and offensive to everyone in the ancient world. It would have been so offensive to the common Jewish person that the person who spoke of God in such intimate terms would have been punishable by death.
There were other religions, of course, during the New Testament period. All of them regarded gods with the utmost respect and reverence. To refer to god as god, Lord, Master, Elhohim, etc. was perfectly acceptable. However, no one referred to God in such an intimate term as Father.
Even in the modern world, even when monarchs have no political power, there are certain protocols that one must observe to have an audience with the Queen of England. Here are just a few examples:
- On presentation to the Queen, the correct address is “Your Majesty,” and subsequently, “Ma’am.”
- Be early. Guests should arrive before the royal.
- Take the Queen’s lead. Don’t talk unless spoken to. Don’t sit until she sits. Don’t begin eating until she does.
- Don’t touch her majesty.
- Only shake her hand if she offers it.
- Don’t turn your back on her majesty.
This isn’t even all of it. There’s more. There are protocols on what to wear, how to present yourself, where to sit, etc.
This is just to hang out with the Queen of England. She’s not even our Queen. But if you and I were to have an audience with her, we would have to observe all kinds of protocols.
Imagine how much regard, reverence, and genuine fear there was when thinking about being in the presence of God.
The way the ancients revered and regarded God was with the utmost respect and honor. It was completely unthinkable to refer to God as Father.
Yet, this is exactly what Jesus teaches his disciples to do. So much so, two-thousand years later, calling God “Our Father” has become ho hum, no big deal, a matter of fact.
The reason why we can call God our Father is because that’s who he is because of what Jesus has accomplished for us through the cross. We have been ingrafted and adopted. We have become heirs of God’s kingdom!
What makes this even more amazing is how we can’t imagine a God who isn’t our Father.
Thank you, “Our Father!”