“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named” (Eph. 3:14, 15, NKJV). What imagery is evoked in this verse, and what hope is found there?
Early in Jesus’ ministry, He states, “ ‘In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name’ ” (Matt. 6:9, NKJV). Later He repeats the same prayer privately with His disciples (Luke 11:2). Jesus told us to call His Father, “Our Father in heaven.” When Jesus encountered Mary after His resurrection, she wanted to embrace Him. “Jesus said to her, ‘Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, “I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God” ’ ” (John 20:17, NKJV).
Because we have the same Father as Jesus, He is our Brother, and we are all brothers and sisters in the Lord. Jesus became a member of the earthly family so that we could become members of the heavenly family. “The family of heaven and the family of earth are one.”—Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 832.
Read Exodus 3:10; Exodus 5:1; and Galatians 3:26, 29. What do these verses say about how God relates to us? Why should this be so encouraging?
In contrast to a view of creation in which we are deemed the mere products of cold, uncaring natural laws, Scripture teaches not only that God exists, but also that He loves us and relates to us in such a loving manner that the imagery of family is often used in Scripture to depict that relationship. Whether Jesus calls Israel My people or us sons of God or refers to God as our Father, the point is still the same: God loves us the way family members are supposed to love each other. What good news amid a world that, in and of itself, can be very hostile!
Imagine a world in which we treated everyone as family. How can we learn to relate better to all human beings as our brothers and sisters?
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