Fatherhood is, according to Jesus, the way God wants to relate to us. God as Father speaks, and by his word, molds every life and all that exists. Why? Fatherly goodness and mercy. Celebrities, athletes, and life coaches compete for our time, money, and attention. But, their opinion about the meaning of life is of little importance when divorced from the example of God's fatherly love for us. What example? Jesus' example.
All God’s fatherly goodness and mercy is concrete and real, born of a virgin, crucified for our trespasses, raised for our justification.
Jesus introduces us to God as Father. The Father introduces us to Jesus as "my beloved son, with whom I'm delighted." We listen to Jesus because the Father points us to Jesus as the example of his fatherly goodness and mercy. Whatever we want to know about God as Father, we learn from Jesus. Whatever we want to learn about Jesus, we learn from the Father.
This is important. It shows us we are a part of something bigger than ourselves. God's fatherly love for us is instilled in Jesus. Jesus' conception and birth, his life and work, his suffering and death, and resurrection and reign show us that all God's promises to his people are trustworthy and true. All God's fatherly goodness and mercy is concrete and real, born of a virgin, crucified for our trespasses, raised for our justification.
Through Jesus' engagement with sinners, the Father shows how he intends for us to be treated. When Jesus shows up for the innocent, the weak, and the fallen, the Father demonstrates that he'll never leave or forsake us no matter how bad the circumstances. Stretched out on a cross, Jesus shows us what price the Father is willing to pay to buy back our freedom from sin, death, and Satan. God's fatherly love for us is on full display wherever Jesus shows up for sinners.
All this flows over into our everyday lives. That's what it means when a Christian confesses that he's a "baptized child of God." God's fatherly love gathers sinners together in Jesus' name from different walks of life. He gathers us into churches to stand together with other baptized sinners: grateful, thankful, and hopeful. He sends a preacher to speak the truth to us about his Son. He "regenerates and renews" us in the waters of Baptism. He feeds us at the rail with the body and blood of our Savior, Jesus, so we may enjoy forgiveness, life, and salvation in this life and the life to come.
With Jesus, the Father stands with us. We're strengthened because he fights for us. We live because he breathes life into us. We eat, laugh, cry, and are buried and raised from the grave in his fatherly goodness and mercy. He doesn't do any of this because he cares about our skin color, our politics, or our life goals. He does it for us because of what Jesus does for us.
The good news is that whatever Jesus does for us, the Father wants for us because Jesus and the Father are one.
The good news is that whatever Jesus does for us, the Father wants for us because Jesus and the Father are one. If you've seen Jesus, you've seen the Father. If you're baptized in Jesus' name, you're a baptized child of God. When you receive Jesus' body and blood for the forgiveness of sin, life, and eternal salvation, you receive the knowledge of the Father's will for you. When a preacher declares, "In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit I declare to you the entire forgiveness of all your sin," you know without a doubt that the Father loves you as he loves Jesus.
With Jesus, we now hear these words, "This is my beloved son with whom I'm delighted" and know they're addressed to us too.