Christian counselors often run into challenges when they are trying to help those who struggle. One of the greatest strengths a Christian can draw upon is a healthy connection to God the Father. Yet for many, this term Heavenly Father, is a turn off. They have had earthly fathers who were untrustworthy at best and abusive at the worst.
That tension has always existed. Earthly fathers are never perfect and their flaws deeply impact their children well into adulthood. In Jesus’ day, God was not thought of in intimate terms. Certainly, relating to God as Father was not in their way of thinking.
Therefore, one of the ways Jesus offended others was when He called God My Father. The religious leaders especially were offended that Jesus would relate to God in such a personal, almost informal way – putting Himself on the same level with God. (John 5:18)
He also used the Hebrew term “abba” in the Garden of Gethsemane, (Mark 14:36) the more intimate term for father, much like our use of the word Dad or Daddy.
Today we will explore what Jesus teaches us in the Sermon on the Mount about this unique relationship that He desires to extend to us as well.