OceanSide church of Christ
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LIVING FOR JESUS
Respecting the Heavenly Father
Victor M. Eskew
A. When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, He became the Son of God (Luke 1:32).
B. Jesus voluntarily placed Himself in submission to His heavenly Father (I Cor. 11:3).
But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
C. In His submissive position, Jesus possessed a deep respect for His Father in heaven.
1. Two definitions:
a. Respect:† esteem for or a sense of the worth and excellence of a person
b. Honor:† to prize, that is, fix a valuation upon, by implication to revere
2. Letís look at Jesusí respect for His heavenly Father.† Letís remember that we, too, are children of God (Gal. 3:26-27) and should have respect for the heavenly Father also.
I. RESPECT FOR THE FATHERíS POSITION
A. Man operates in two realms, the physical and the spiritual.
1. God often legislates in both realms.
2. As we interpret our Bibles, we need to keep these two realms in mind.
B. In Matthew 23:9, Jesus teaches us about the respect that we are to have for the position of the Father of heaven.
And call no man your Father upon the earth:† for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
1. Jesus is legislating in the spiritual realm, not the physical.
2. No human being has the right spiritually to wear the title of ďFather.Ē† God, and God alone, occupies that position.
3. When men assume the titles of ďfather,Ē Pope,Ē and ďPatriarch,Ē they are violating the Lordís injunction.† They are not showing respect to the position that belongs to God alone.
II. RESPECT FOR THE FATHERíS BUSINESS
A. At a very early age, Jesus showed His respect for things that are spiritual.
1. We are all familiar with our Lordís being separated from his parents at the age of 12.
2. When his parents found Him, He was in the temple.† Letís listen to Lukeís account of this (Luke 2:46-49).
And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.† And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and his answers.† And when they saw him, they were amazed:† and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us?† Behold, thy father and I sought thee sorrowing.† And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me?† Wist ye not that I must be about my Fatherís business?
a. Three questions:
1) Where was Jesus?† The temple
2) Who was Jesus with?† The doctors of the Law of Moses
3) What was He doing?† Hearing them and asking them questions
b. NOTE:† This is what Jesus refers to as ďmy Fatherís business.Ē
c. At a young age, Jesus had a respect for spiritual things, eternal things, the things that really matter now and in the world to come.
B. Like Jesus, we, too, should have our minds set on the Fatherís business.
1. Romans 8:5
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
2. II Corinthians 4:18
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen:† for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
3. Philippians 2:20
For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
4. Colossians 3:1-2
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.† Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
C. Jesus continued to respect His Fatherís business into His adult life.† Twice we read of His cleansing the temple when He saw the practices of the money-changers therein.† His remarks show us His respect for the Fatherís business.
1. John 2:16
†And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Fatherís house an house of merchandise.
2. Matthew 21:13
And he said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but he have made it a den of thieves.
III. RESPECT FOR THE FATHERíS WORD
A. We know that Jesus lived under the Law of Moses.† This law Jesus kept fully.
B. In some manner, the Father also communicated other aspects of His will to His Son.
1. Some of Godís commands brought inconvenience:† having to leave heaven to come to earth.
2. Some of Godís commands went against reason:† Jesus having to be baptized with Johnís baptism when Jesus had no sins.
3. Some of Godís commands were difficult:† submit yourself to the suffering of the death of the cross of Calvary.
C. Jesus was unfaltering in His respect for the Fatherís will.
1. Matthew 6:10
ÖThy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
2. John 5:30b
Öbecause I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
3. John 6:38
For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
4. John 8:29b
Öfor I do always those things that please him.
D. We, too, must respect the Fatherís commands.
1. Psalm 119:15
I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.
2. This means that we must respect all of the commands of God, not just the ones that please us or that we agree with (Ps. 119:6).
Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
IV. RESPECT FOR THE FATHER IN PRAYER
A. Jesus was a man of prayer, praying often and, at times, praying long.
B. He addressed the Father in prayer with respect (Matt. 11:25).
At that time, Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earthÖ
C. He taught us to have the same respect when we go to God in prayer (Matt. 6:9).
After this manner therefore pray ye:† Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
V. RESPECT FOR THE FATHER IN TEACHING
A. It would be an interesting study to go through the gospels to see what Jesus teaches us about the heavenly Father.
B. A few points from Matthewís gospel.
1. Man is to worship and serve God only (Matt. 4:10).
2. Godís name is to set apart (Matt. 6:9).
3. The Father will take care of the needs of His children (Matt. 6:26, 30, 33).
4. The Father cares for us like He does the sparrows that fall to the earth (Matt. 10:29).
C. Maybe we need more teaching about the Father.† Understanding such things as His nature, His love for us, His care for us, and His desires for us should cause all to respect Him even more.
VI††††† RESPECT FOR THE FATHER AS OUR STANDARD
A. Jesus exhorts His hearers to be like the Father.
1. Be perfect (Matt. 5:48).
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
2. Be merciful (Luke 6:36).
Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
B. Other writers picked upon on this concept as well.
1. Forgive, even as God for Christís sake hath forgive you (Eph. 4:32).
2. And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved usÖ (Eph. 5:2)
3. Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy (I Pet. 1:16).
C. Human examples pale in comparison to the example of God.
1. He is a perfect standard.
2. He is a lofty standard.
3. He is a standard that will never fail.
A. It is intriguing to think that the Son of God always had a high regard for the Father.
B. May we always show respect to the Father:† His position, His business, His word, in prayer, in our teaching, and as our example.
C. Psalm 71:8
Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day.