For Unto Us a Child is Born – Part 3 of 4
Pastor Robby Roberson
December 23, 2007
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father…” Is 9:6
· HE IS ONE WITH THE FATHER IN ESSENCE.
“I and the Father are one.” Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” “We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” Jn 10:30-33
· HE IS DISTINCT FROM THE FATHER IN PERSON.
“As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Mt 3:16-17
So, Isaiah can’t be saying that Jesus is the Father. I agree with John Walvoord who said, “The Messiah will be a fatherly Ruler” (The Bible Knowledge Commentary). For those who come under His rule he will be like a father to them! “The word ‘Father’ describes the relationship God is to have with His people” (Criswell Study Bible, pg. 790).
The role of fathering is so critical. Robert Lewis says that “70% of the prisoners in our penal institutions today grew up in a fatherless home” (Men’s Fraternity 1, pg. 12).
The Newsweek cover story said, “Dad is Destiny! In the act of conception the man’s sperm (biological material) determines whether that fetus is male or female. That is what he offers at the moment of conception. We are not discovering that his presence in the home is just as powerful in the development of that boy into a man or that girl into a woman” (Men’s Fraternity 1, pg. 12).
“David Blankenhorn, author of the best selling book Fatherless America said, ‘The fatherless family of the U.S. in the late twenty century is a social invention of the most daring and untested design. It represents a radical departure of all of human history and of all human experience’” (Men’s Fraternity 1, pg. 12). That is a scary thought!
In other words, research says that the key characteristic of a child’s wholesome development is dad’s presence (or a fathering presence)! He more than anything else determines whether there is going to be the bloom of masculinity in that son or the bloom of femininity in that daughter.
“In the 1960’s they were worried because 17% of American homes were fatherless. Guess how many homes are fatherless today? Today nearly 40% of American homes are fatherless! I’m not talking about a step-dad or second father. I’m talking about no dad…absolutely none” (Men’s Fraternity 1, pg. 10)!
Maybe that’s where you come from. Maybe there was lack of direction in your home and family or maybe there was abandonment. Maybe your dad was passive or maybe he played favorites and you weren’t the favorite. Maybe there was poor training and modeling in your home or there were unholy alliances because of dysfunction. Maybe there was abuse or conflict or betrayal. Illustration: a glove. For some of you this glove brings warm memories of involvement with dad and times shared. For others, seeing this glove cause a tightening of the lip because he wasn’t there. There were no shared times and little involvement and few memories (illustration: scene from Borrowed Hearts).
The extreme example of the result of this is Jeffrey Dalmer. “Some years ago, there was an NBC report on Jeffrey Dalmer’s brain. He was a serial killer out of Milwaukee. He brutally murdered 17 people. He would dismember their bodies and would bring some of them up to his apartment and store some body parts in his refrigerator and would even cannibalize some of them.
He was sentenced to 957 years in prison. He was brutally murdered in prison and some scientists wanted to have his brain for study. They wanted to see if there was some kind of connection between how his brain was made up and whether he was pre-disposed to such violence. His mother wanted to offer his brain but his dad didn’t. His dad was a graduate professor and he wanted the brain destroyed.
In the process they mentioned that his dad had written a book as he searched out - what happened to my son? The family was very well educated and had assumed that everything was fine with Jeffrey. Then they discovered that he was this incredible serial killer! So he wrote a book called A Father’s Story in which he went through the process of reliving how he had raised his son.
As you go through the book, you discover what this dad thinks about his son. He begins to paint this portrait of parental neglect, of how he was not available to his son and of what his son probably suffered in the domestic conflict that occurred between him and his wife; that he was too busy in graduate school to show his son any kind of affection or attention and so on and so forth. It is a bleak portrait!
Then he writes these words, ‘And so, I wasn’t there to see him as he began to sink into himself. I wasn’t there to sense he might be drifting towards that unimaginable realm of fantasy and isolation that would take nearly 30 years for me to recognize” (Robert Lewis, Raising a Modern Day Knight, pg. 31ff.).
The Good News is there is a fatherly presence available to you in this child – Jesus Christ!
What does that look like? Here are just a few biblical characteristics of a father:
1. A BIBLICAL FATHER DEVELOPS A DEEP KNOWLEDGE OF GOD.
“I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning…I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning…” 1 Jn 2:13-14
2. A BIBLICAL FATHER DIRECTS, INSTRUCTS AND MODELS.
“Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.” Pr 1:8
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Eph 6:4
3. A BIBLICAL FATHER DELIGHTS IN HIS CHILDREN.
“Because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” Pr 3:12
4. A BIBLICAL FATHER ENCOURAGES.
“Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.” Col 3:21
5. A BIBLICAL FATHER GIVES AWAY HIS HEART.
“See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.” Mal 4:5-6
“And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Lk 1:17
6. A BIBLICAL FATHER LEAVES A LEGACY.
“Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.” Pr 17:6
The father gives weight to his son that steadies him. That is the language here. The Hebrew word for “glory” is “weight”. In other words, you could translate it, “the weight of sons is their fathers”.
Again, it is Blankenhorn who said, “As a father the good family man is not perfect. But, he is just good enough to be irreplaceable! He stays around. He is the father on the premises. His children need him and he strives to given them what they need every day. He knows that nothing can substitute for him…NOTHING! Either he is a father or his children are fatherless. And he would never consider himself as not that important to his children” (Fatherless America).
“The Messiah will be a Father to His people eternally. As Davidic King, He will compassionately care for and discipline them” (MacArthur Study Bible, pg. 968). “Everlasting defines the type f fatherhood, forever guarding and sustaining” (Criswell Study Bible, pg. 790). He will never leave, never abandon!
“And teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Mt 28:20
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Heb 13:5