He Shall Be Called
Crosspoint – Dave Spooner – Dec. 13th, 2020
- This Christmas season we have been focusing on the various names and titles of this Son who is given. He is Immanuel – God who is with us. He is also our Wonderful Counselor. The sovereign birth announcement of this Son was given in the book of Isaiah to a people facing great difficulties and dark times:
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.
- We, in turn, are living in difficult and dark days, as all of humanity lives out our days in the land of the shadow of death because of our rebellion and sin against God. Into our darkness a light has dawned. The Son (s-o-n literally) has been given and the sun (s-u-n figuratively) has risen.
Isa 9:6 ESV
and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
- This child not only is our Wonderful Counselor, this is the Mighty God, this is our Everlasting Father. So, how can this Son be the “Everlasting Father?” He is “Everlasting Father” in the sense that He is the source of everything and the life to all His people.
- The Apostle John starts his Gospel with the same concepts, thoughts, and language as Isaiah:
John 1:1-5 ESV
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
- The word is Jesus. Jesus always existed and always was God. All things were made through Him, and in Him was life, and His life is the light of all humankind. He is the Light that shines in our darkness, and the darkness has not, nor ever will, overcome the light. Jesus is the source of life and our source of life. Because He is eternal, He is the “Everlasting Father,” which is the title given to Him from God the Father.
- Now often it is common for people to see God through the lens of their earthy Father. If their earthy father was distant, or distracted, or abandoned them, or abusive, or legalistic, or irresponsible, or whatever, they view their heavenly Father through that lens as well.
- My hope would be that we would switch our perspective, that we would view our earthly fathers through the lens of our heavenly Father. If we can see our Heavenly Father clearly, through His light we can see all other things. The truth is that the best we as earthy fathers can do, is provide a glimpse of what the Heavenly Father is like.
- One of the devil’s primary tactics is to twist, distort and pervert our image and understanding of our heavenly Father. Since the begging this was the tactic . . . “did God really say? He is holding out on you.” If we misunderstand the heart and nature of God, we misunderstand and misinterpret everything else. From the origins of the cosmos, to the purpose of life, to our own identities.
- One of the primary purposes of Jesus was to reveal the Father to us (Luke 10:22).
Heb 1:3a NIV
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.
- If you have seen Jesus, you have seen the Father, if you want to know what the Father is like, look to words and the works of the Son.
John 14:6-11 ESV
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.
- Jesus did show us the Father: who He is, how He thinks, what He does. One of the clearest stories that has ever been taught demonstrating the Father is the story of the prodigal son. This is the last story in a series of stories that Jesus told to depict why He “receives sinners, and eats with them” (Luke 15:2b). Jesus told a story about a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son to illustrate the joy in heaven and the heart of God when people repent and are restored. We are going to pay special attention today as to how the Father expresses His heart by what He does.
The Father releases those who are running
Luke 15:11-12 ESV
And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them.
- God provides for and gives to all His creation, and especially to those in His own household. When people want to run from Him and disconnect with Him, He “turns us over” to what we desire more than Him.
- He is doing this in the sense of Rom. 1:18-32 and gives us over to what we want based on who we are. This son decided that he no longer wanted to be connected to and in relationship with his Father. So he took all that he was given and went away on his own. The Father’s heart is to have our heart, and He will release us to what we desire more than Him.
Luke 15:13-16 ESV
Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. 14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.
- When we choose to go our own way, in time we will come to the end of ourselves and our resources. The cruel realities of the word will bear upon us. God, in His wisdom, knows that we need to come to the end of our self in bearing the full weight of the realties of our running from him, to get to a point of taking a realistic look at the reality of our heart stemming from the condition of our choices. The most loving and the most difficult thing our Father does, is to release those who are running, knowing that there will come a day where we will have to consider our ways and choose to humble ourselves and return or harden ourselves and continue to run even farther.
- This young man, after his rebellious run, and being broken and abandoned by the hardness of his own heart, “came to himself” or came to his senses.
Luke 15:17-19 ESV
“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’
- This was a true repentance. This wayward son was not coming out of anger or coming to get even or get more from his father. He took responsibility for his heart and actions, “I have sinned first against heaven (all sin is first against heaven), and before you” – sinned to and toward you.
- Then he recognizes what is due him, and as for reconciliating and reconnection at a lower status.
The Father runs to those who are returning
Luke 15:20 ESV
And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
- If you want to know how your Heavenly Father feels toward those who have run from Him, you must look to this passage: “While he was still a long way off,” before he could return all the way, the Father knew that His son was returning, and He had compassion. We also have the heart of the Father when we have compassion for those who have hurt us and run away from relationship to us. The Father knew that His son was returning, and because of His compassion, He did not wait around for him to come and humble himself, but He ran to him – showing His heart of compassion. Not just putting up with this derelict son, but embracing him.
The Father embraces those who are repentant
Luke 15:21 ESV
And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate.
- Your Everlasting Father will always embrace those who are repentant. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9, ESV). He embraces, restores, and connects. He restores dignity (robe), authority (ring), and freedom (shoes).
The Father celebrates those who are restored
Luke 15:24 ESV
For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.
- God has compassion for His children who are still dead in their sins and have been lost to and in the world. When His children become alive again and are found, there is a great reason for celebration in the restoration of relationship to the Father that should be celebrated by His family and friends.
- There is a sad postscript to this story: when the eldest son found out what had happened, he was angry, indignant and refused to come in and celebrate because of his own self-interest and self-righteousness. God, help us not to have the stuff of the kingdom and lack the heart of the King.
- Jesus is the Son that was given who is the Everlasting Father. Behold Him, embrace Him, receive Him, reflect Him. What we are given in Christ is beyond our comprehension. Into the darkness, into our darkness, the light has come, and the darkness will not overcome it. Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
- In the world that has all kinds of misunderstandings and inaccurate explanations of who God is, focus on the Father and fix your eyes on the Son. Listen to Him, Learn from Him, Know Him and make Him known.
- Concluding Prayer