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He Shall Be Called "Everlasting Father"

Advent 2019  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  25:40
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Once again, we begin our Scripture lesson in the prophet Isaiah.
Isaiah 9:6 ESV
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 7:14 ESV
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
There is perhaps no word in any language that creates a wider range of emotions than the word “father”. For some, the word “father” brings to mind fond memories and warm feelings. For other, the word “father” brings back bad memories and feelings of anger and regret. It is into this confusion that Isaiah the prophet reveals to us that the Messiah will come to us as “Everlasting Father.”
Rather than reading from the Gospel of Mark, I have chosen to read from John 14:1-11. This passage better than any other in the New Testament shows us how Jesus fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy that when the Messiah came He would be for us an Everlasting Father.
John 14:1–11 ESV
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 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’? 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. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.
The first thing we learn from this passage is that Jesus is our Everlasting Father, because He is a perfect reflection of the Father.

Jesus is the Perfect Reflection of the Father

Jesus makes an amazing claim in verse seven:
John 14:7 ESV
If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Deep within the soul of every person is the desire to know God and be in a relationship with Him. This is because we are made in the image of God. People may suppress or pervert this Godwardness with in them, but it is still there. Philip’s excitement and confusion is understandable, this is why he says:
John 14:8 ESV
Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”
The response from Jesus was not what he expected.
John 14:9–10 ESV
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’? 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.
Jesus is saying that He is a perfect reflection of the Father. To see Jesus is to see the Father.
This fact clarifies for us what Isaiah ment by the title “Everlasting Father.” He is not confusing the members of the Trinity. Nor is he teaching the Modalist heresy that says God is one person who appears in different modes throughout redemptive history. Sometimes as the Father, other times as the Son and still other times as the Spirit.
When Jesus speaks of the Father, He always makes a clear distinction between the Father and Himself. What he does say is this: that all the divine attributes and characteristics the Father has, the Son has as well.
This morning we confessed in our Advent Litany that Jesus knows our deepest thoughts, our deepest needs, our most pressing concerns and our innermost being. These are divine attributes and characteristics of our loving Heavenly Father and we are confessing that Jesus has this loving knowledge of us as well!
Why is this important? Because we cannot see God the Father, however we can see Jesus! In numerous places, Scripture teaches us that it is impossible to see God the Father. For example, writing of God the Father, Paul writes:
1 Timothy 6:16 ESV
who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.
This brings us to our second point:

Jesus is the Only Way to the Father

As I said earlier, every human being is seeking God, they just don’t know it. We all long for the love and intimacy that only God can provide. Psychologists and sociologists have discovered that most peoples’ idea of God is shaped by their father. This is why the word “father,” has become so controversial in our society today. Too many men have failed as fathers, husbands and brothers. Women of course are sinners as well and just as many have failed as mothers, wives and sisters. So why is there such bitterness directed towards men today? If we take seriously the message of the Bible, I think the answer is clear. God has chosen to reveal Himself to us as Father, Husband and Brother. It is not that women are not image bearers of God, but men have a unique calling and responsibility and increasingly men have failed in this calling and responsibility.
In this toxic environment of hatred directed at men, we need to remind ourselves that there are still many good fathers, husbands and brothers out there. Moreover, there is one man, the man Jesus, who is the perfect Father, Husband and Brother! If we attempt to know God the Father through anyone else but Jesus, it will be a distorted image. Even the best father, husband or brother is still a sinner. There has only been one sinless man and His name is Jesus. This is why Jesus said:
John 14:6 ESV
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
This brings us to the final point:

Jesus Came to Be Your Everlasting Father

As I look at our Christmas tree each year, I cannot help but feel a little sad, for there are gifts and gift tags with names missing: Wade, Joe, Bonna, Lenard, Stella, Elmer, Edna and so many others. Fathers, mothers, grandparents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sister. I miss their love, kindness, sympathy and strength, but then I remember that Jesus came to be our Everlasting Father. His resurrection and victory over death means that He will forever be there for us!
Not only that, but all those who believe in Him share in His resurrection and life!
John 14:19 ESV
Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.
If your loved ones were believers their name tags may not be under your tree, but their love is still with you because they share in Christ’s everlasting life!
More than that, their love is now perfected!
As I said earlier, Christmas is often a time of regret. Mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, brothers and sister were not and have not been what they should be, but for those that died in Christ, they now live in Chrsit and they are now everything they should be.
1 John 4:12 ESV
No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
Jesus came so that He could be for us our Everlasting Father, who with His loving hand will wipe away every tear!
Is Jesus your Everlasting Father? He is the only way to God the Father and the only way to eternal life!
Let us pray.
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