Episode 9: The Nature of the Father

 

Anchor Lady: Hello viewers, this is Exposé 247 where we shine the light on Christ….xxx

Peter: xxx…for joining us on another episode of Exposé. We trust the Lord that today, you would be touched as we go through this journey of the Prodigal Father.

Anchor Lady: Okay. Last week, we were talking about the homecoming, the repentance and so many other things we are linking from various previous episodes… Would you want to remind our viewers what you talked about last week so some people will be able to join the dots…

Peter: Yeah, viewers at home and everywhere in the world, last week, we actually did end on verse 19 of Luke chapter 15 where we actually saw the younger son where he began to hope that the Father would change His mind, when he said, “I will go to my Father and I will tell Him how to treat me…” And we stopped there and we…this is how religion tries to dictate to God… how God should react to us because of who we are or who we think we are. And then, we found out that this was a general problem of humanity and that’s where we stopped on verse 19 last week…when we try to recreate God in our image… You know, Bible says God made man in His own image but now, man is trying to recreate God in his own image. And that was where we actually stopped on verse 19 of Luke 15 last episode.

Anchor Lady: Yes. I just hope our viewers were able to take something home with them last week to know that in their homecoming journey, they don’t need to tell the Father how to treat them

Peter: Yeah… I mean…I mean…I mean…that’s it. He was going back home; the younger son was going back home to the Father in Luke 15:19 and he said “I will say to my Father, I’m not worthy to be called your son; make me like one of Your hired servants…” And it’s amazing when humans think that they are that wise enough to dictate to God how God should receive them…and you see that this is a problem! And that’s why the book of James chapter 1 says that we should receive with humility…

Anchor Lady: with meekness…

Peter: with meekness…the engrafted Word of God that can save our souls. There are sometimes, we read the scriptures and God calls us things and God shows us in the scriptures in a way we think can that be myself in the scriptures? is this how God is? Atimes we struggle with what God says we are? And then…but Bible says we need to receive the Word with meekness before it can save us. So that’s it. I think the younger son got to a place where he thought he could dictate to God how God should receive him after he had actually wasted the resources in that story

Anchor Lady: and if we listened very well last week, we saw the consistency of the Father’s reaction; we saw the consistency of the Father’s love…and His…what He thought about the son is ever the same

Peter: Yeah, I mean, that’s one of the things we said again. Before we kick off with today’s episode that all through the Prodigal Father series, all through the series, you would notice that Jesus throughout that parable was completely silent about the reaction of the Father to the younger son all through…the younger son, when he went out…all through the journey in which he was wasting The Father’s inheritance, Jesus said nothing about the predisposition of the Father. The Father seemed to be so constant, He seem to be unchanging…we didn’t see anything changing about how the Father was reacting and everything seems to be constant with the Father and we said this is consistent with James chapter 1 verse 17 that says “Every good and perfect gift comes from above from the Father of light in Whom there is no shadow of turning.” A constant Father; very constant in His love; constant in the way He treats us. He’s never changing, ever constant…and that’s what we saw in that episode last week.

Anchor Lady: So let’s quickly go further in this story. Which verse will we be looking at today?

Peter: We’ll be looking from verse 20. Let’s go to verse 20. Now, Luke 15:20 says “so he got up and went to His Father…” Now, viewers, let’s clarify this. We’ve always been going back to this point and we need to clarify that today. Again, the foundation of this parable… what actually evoked this parable in Christ was because in verse 1 and verse 2 of Luke 15, Jesus welcomed the publicans and sinner… and you see, the Pharisees and the scribes were wondering why would Jesus welcome the sinners and the publicans and the Bible said in verse 3, as a reaction to the mentality of the Pharisees, Jesus spoke this parable as a response. Now, what you wanna ask is this: why did he speak the parable? He spoke the parable because He felt that people misunderstood what He should do to sinners. Jesus felt that people were not getting the point and He gave them a parable that redefined who the Father is and how the Father welcome sinners and publicans and it means then, before we can proceed on this episode, we need to understand Who really is the Father? What’s the true nature of God? And because, if we don’t understand God’s true nature, if we don’t understand who the Father really is in His nature, we would come to God with predisposing concepts, presuppositions, what we think God is or how we think God should be and based on those concepts and notions, we relate to God and based on how we relate with God determines how we receive from God. You know there’s one thing we said, viewers on this episode, we gave you the story of a man who actually, he was not productive with his talent and he was not productive with his talent because he said “You are a hard task master.” We said that before. So today on this episode, we we’re gonna explore what’s the true nature of the Father.

Anchor Lady: So verse 20

Peter: Yeah. So verse 20 said, “he got up and went to his father.” Now, look at the next verse… I mean, on the same verse 20; “but while he was still a long way off, his Father saw him and was filled with compassion for him” Now, the question you wanna ask is this, What happened to the wasted resources? What happened to the wasted inheritance? Is this Father not going to demand a retribution? Is this Father not gonna react to this younger son based on the fact that he has wasted his father’s resources? Why is this father still looking out for this son? This tells us something about the nature of this Father and we need to explore this nature today. This Father Who doesn’t change like shifting shadows…

Anchor Lady: So while he was a way off

Peter: yeah, it says there “while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and he was filled with compassion for him” And it says “he ran to his son and threw his hand around him and kissed him” and that’s what it says was the father’s reaction towards the son. Now, viewers, please, if you please… I think at this junction, we need to explore this father. That’s what we need to do at this point. We might have to, you know, put a side to the story and explore this particular father that is so strange.

Anchor Lady: they don’t see fathers reacting this way

Peter: Now, this father is so strange—this is not how the Pharisees and the scribes expected this father to respond. And this is why they queried Jesus in verse 1 and verse 2. They said, “why are you welcoming sinners and publicans?” Why are you doing that?” They seem to say if we know who you are as Jesus, and you claim to be Jesus and you are representing God to humanity, why are you welcoming sinners and publicans? And they began to get angry at Jesus and He gave this parable. So let’s look at it. What’s the true nature of the Father? How does the Father view humanity even when they are in sin? Or How does the Father view us or view the whole world—that’s what we’re gonna be looking at…

Anchor Lady: okay…

Peter: Now, the first thing we wanna ask is this, right from Genesis when man sinned, when Adam and Eve fell, there’s one thing I want us to have a look at… I want us to have a look at this place… Let’s go straight to the book of Genesis. Now, if you are with us, chapter 2, or we might just go from chapter 3 of Genesis. Now, if you’re there, Genesis chapter 3, please.

Anchor Lady: From verse 1?

Peter: Yeah. From the first verse

Anchor Lady: “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field…”

Peter: Yes, please

Anchor Lady: “the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, yea, have God said you shall not eat of any fruit of the garden?”

Peter: Yes, continue, please

Anchor Lady: “and the woman said unto the serpent, ‘we may eat of the fruit of the tree of the garden but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden God has said you shall not eat it…”

Peter: okay…

Anchor Lady: “neither shall ye touch it lest you die…”

Peter: Okay. Now, God said, you will not eat of the fruit lest you die… And what happened when Adam and Eve disobeyed God? They fell and they sinned against God. Now, what we expect when it comes to sin is that God should react and punish sin and that God should hold the sin of humanity against men. Now, one thing that the Bible said… Now you see, right from the time that Adam fell in the garden of Eden right up to the point where the Law came, the Bible said it was when the Law was given that God began to count sin against man. Now, what happens? It means right from the time of Genesis right up to the time that the Law was given, the Bible say God was not counting sin against men

Anchor Lady: hmmmm

Peter: But when the Law came, that was the time that God began to count sin… Now, Romans chapter 5 tells us something that the reason why God gave the Law was because God wanted men to actually see that they are actually sinners. So the reason why God gave the Law was not because for us to keep the law and become righteous, but God gave the Law so that we can actually become exceedingly sinful so that we can see a need for a saviour. It was not because we were supposed to keep the law. That is how we see him. And what happened? When God gave the law, the law actually made us see how sinful we are and God began to count sin towards men. And what happened? When Jesus Christ came, 2 Corinthians tells us… now, please, let’s look at that. Let’s see what happen when Jesus Christ came and what happened after the Law… 2 Corinthians chapter 5 plus verse 19. Please can you read please. 22 Corinthians chapter 5 from verse 19. Now, I’ll read from here. It says “God was in Christ…” Hmmm, now watch this… “reconciling the world to Himself, not counting people’s sins against them anymore” Now, the question you wanna ask me is this: What happens if people live in sin? If anybody breaks the law (for example the younger son)… What happens to the younger son? The younger son took the father’s inheritance and went on a long journey. Now, because the younger son broke the laws of the father, took the inheritance and went away, we are expecting the Father to say, well, I’m going to hold this against you. That’s why the Pharisees were expecting Jesus to hold out against the publicans and the sinners. No. Jesus didn’t do that; Jesus welcomed them. So we see the father in the story welcoming the younger son. Now, the key thing is, Bible says “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not counting the sins of men against them anymore…” So when people actually fall into sin, what happens? The danger of sin, the effect of sin, the consequence of sin happens to them but not because the father was actually the one saying I’m going to hold it out against you. That’s why the Father welcomed the son when he went back home to receive him…looking out for him and having compassion on him. And that’s what happened in verse 20. So if we look back, that’s Luke 15:20, what does it say? It says “But while he was still a long way off, the father saw him and was filled with compassion on him and he ran to his son, threw his hands around him and kissed him.” Verse 21 “the son said to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you and he said I’m no longer worthy to be called your son…” That’s what we said the last time, isn’t it? He said, I’m no longer qualified… He wanted the father to change the way he was viewing him… Now verse 22. The Father said to his servants, so this father doesn’t change like shifting shadows, “quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate.” You can see. So it means that the Father was still constant in the way he received the younger son. The love was ever consistent. The love of Christ constrains… the love was never changing, it was never failing, the same yesterday, the same today, the same forevermore. So he said that…it said, “the father said to the servants, quick, bring a robe and put it on him, put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring a fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a fast and celebrate for this son if mine was dead and is alive again” Can you see that? It means the Father did say that this younger son, the journey of self-discovery that he has actually gone on has actually put him in a dead situation. But this had nothing to do with the father. This was the consequence of his wrong choice. This was a consequence of him taking his inheritance and wasting his inheritance. So that’s what we said about sin…that even in our current new covenant, in the new testament; when people live in sin, they receive the negative effect…the consequence of sin, not because the father held out their sin against them. So the father said “this son was dead but he’s alive.” But you see, what happened? The father was at home waiting for him, but he said “he was dead and is alive; he was lost but now is found. And they began to celebrate.”

Anchor Lady: Yes, I think this verse from verse 21 to 24 was actually showing the prodigal nature of the father how he lavished recklessly to somebody he loves…somebody who was wasteful

Peter: Yeah; he was actually…he was always loving the younger son even though the younger son received the negative consequences of his wrong choices…

Anchor Lady: …but from the end of the father…

Peter: From the end of the father, he was always welcoming him. And you see, this is why Jesus gave this parable to redefine how the father sees us; to redefine the nature of God—the true nature of the father. And because the Pharisees didn’t have this understanding, they felt, Why would Jesus welcome sinners? Why is he not just pushing them away? And why would he rather be welcoming them? That’s why Jesus gave them this parable to show us that even though the son was in a terrible situation, the father was always loving him—and that’s what we see there. And in verse 24, Now, we’re gonna actually look beyond that into verse 25. Now, meanwhile, verse 25 says “Meanwhile the older son was in the field…”

Anchor Lady: Oh… we want to get to the…

Peter: Yeah, it’s good to have a look at that… He said the older son was in the field…

Anchor Lady: I just want us…before you go into that, I just want you to explain this Father. I want our viewers to really know the crux of the matter today about this father, ‘cause sometimes, we just actually feel like maybe the Father is holding a punishment. From His end, we can see that what the Father has for his son, this younger son despite his recklessness, his compassion …and that was ever constant

Peter: Ever unch… I mean, ever constant in His love in how we receive the…

Anchor Lady: From the other end of the Law, consequences of recklessness, we see the retributive justice on its end, but from the end of the Father, it’s always compassion

Peter: Always mercy, always goodness. I mean…

Anchor Lady: Because I don’t want you to… I really don’t want everybody, anybody to miss out on this…on the nature of the Father in this episode. I remember the verse… Was it not Luke chapter 4 where Jesus was talking about…he was reciting his mission statement where he was saying “The spirit of the Lord is upon me…” and he was recounting the book…what was written of Him in Isaiah… You know, he was saying “I’ve come to save…” He was telling his mission statement just as the nature of the Father “I’ve come to give sight to the blind… I’ve come to do this…” but He never recite the other part of that Isaiah where it says ‘the day of vengeance…’

Peter: hmmm…

Anchor Lady: because that was where the day of vengeance… I just hope that our viewers will be able to get to know the nature of the Father and be able to know for now that it is compassion from his end

Peter: Yeah… you see, I think there’s something that you did say…that I think we need to clarify which is very important. You see, the reason why a lot of Christians are a bit confused about this notion is, we look at the scripture, the old testament, we look at, you know, I mean, the times of Moses, that when people actually go against the given laws of God, you see God striking them dead…you see, like Onan. Onan was struck dead. We see people who commit adultery, who commit fornication are struck dead. We see people who steal, I mean, God was all out against… You see that when men do good, they receive the blessing and the favour of God and when they do bad, they receive the curses of God… You see Mount Ebal in the scriptures where you see Moses going to the mount and he began to rain down curses… that if you break this law, or you break that law, this evil will happen to you. And a lot of Christians are still confused…

Anchor Lady: confused, yeah

Peter: about the fact that which of them is God?

Anchor Lady: …is the nature of the Father…

Peter: Is it God that actually reacts towards people doing either good or bad and determines whether they get good from God or they get bad from God. Which one is the true nature of God? Now, one thing you need to know, viewers at home, is that Jesus said something which is quite revolutionary. Jesus said in the scriptures. He said that “no one has seen the Father, no one has ever seen the FatherI” but he said “the Son of God who came from His side has revealed Him…” And you’ll wonder, why would Jesus say nobody has ever seen the Father?

Anchor Lady: Moses…

Peter: …because I thought that the Bible said that Moses spoke with God face-to-face. In fact, when God began to speak to Aaron and Miriam when the two of them began to contend with Moses, Jesus… I mean, the Lord God said, “Why would you not be scared to talk to Moses, because I speak…” God said “If I have a prophet amongst you, I speak to the prophet in dreams, in visions and they see my similitude” But He said “Moses…” God said “I speak with Moses face-to-face” Now, why would Jesus then say in the gospels that nobody had ever seen God at any time except the son of God who has come from His side? It means, now, Hebrews 1:3 also tells us that Jesus is the express image of what? of the father. Jesus told Philip in John 14, he said “If you’ve seen me, you have seen the Father” He said “Why are you asking for the Father?” Jesus told us expressly that the true nature—the true reality of who the father is, it is only Jesus who has come to reveal it. And the Bible tells us that in Jesus, the fullness…the fullness of the godhead dwells in him bodily form… He is the bodily expression of the very image of who the father is. It means, it means that we will never understand who God truly is except we’ll look at Christ Jesus.

Anchor Lady: So all the representation from the prophet and everything are just glimpse and everybody is just seeing at what they can see at any part…but the perfect picture is Christ

Peter: Now, now, you got to understand this for real. One, you have to understand this, under the old covenant, under the old testament, God did not fully express the very nature of who he was. The father…

Anchor Lady: that was really a shadow…

Peter: the Father worked on a contract… thank you for using that word, the Bible says that “The law was a shadow of things to come but the reality is in Christ”

Anchor Lady: yeah

Peter: If you wanna see the reality of who God is, look at Christ. Don’t go looking at the book of Psalms. Don’t go looking at the book of Chronicles. Don’t go looking at the book of Deuteronomy. The Bible says that Christ is the fullness of the expression of the Father. The fullness of the godhead dwells in him in bodily form

Anchor Lady: If you want to get the complete picture, yeah

Peter: The law was a shadow of things to come, however the reality, the reality is in Christ. It means as Jesus tells us, that no one has seen the reality of the Father except the Son who has come to reveal Him.

Anchor Lady: And then for us to know that the exact complete picture ends in Christ…It was talking about Him in the book of Hebrews, it said… All the prophets prophesied but this is the final expression God has done speaking with Christ.

Peter: thank You. That’s something… that’s something

Anchor Lady: …telling us that that’s the complete picture. No one will be reading another testament anymore to reveal for us…

Peter: that’s a very important point you have made. It says “God at different times in diverse manners have spoken to us through the prophets but in these last days, God has spoken [end up speaking…oh my God] to us in His son” Now, it’s amazing that many people keep listening to the things God has said before and not to the final expression of His very person in Christ Jesus… the complete picture. Now, if you wanna ask a question, the question you wanna ask is who was God that spoke in the old testament that… I mean… if you do good, you will get my blessings, if you do wrong, you will get my curse. For example, look at Malachi. Malachi 3 that people used to quote, it says that if you don’t pay your tithe, you are cursed with a curse. Now, the question is the father that Jesus revealed in this Prodigal Father series, why is He not cursing the younger son, because, I mean, the younger son has wasted His resources… the younger son took 50% of the inheritance and took it on a journey and wasted it. Why is it that the father didn’t curse him when he returned from the journey? Now, the question you want to ask is who was that father or who is the God of Malachi 3 that says you are cursed with a curse for not paying your tithe? Now, these are questions that we ask and this is where the confusion that comes for most Christians…and most Christians are caught in the midst of confusion between the old and the new. We speak about the new, yet we are stuck in the old. Yet, we are trying to relate with God out of that confusion. I think this is part of the reasons why Jesus gave the parable in Luke 15. He gave the parable to revolutionise how people view the Father.

Anchor Lady: Yeah. If we are going to take anything from today, I just want you to know…to get a complete picture of the Father. We are talking about the prodigal nature of the Father in this story. We saw the compassion, and so we are bringing our viewers to remember, revisit what they knew from the old testament, the complete picture. You know, sometimes looking at something, if you are looking at the complete picture, you are looking at xxx You know the story about the children… the Elephant. Some say that the trunk, that’s what… that’s the only pictorial representation of how the prophets have been representing God to us before. Some say it’s the trunk because that’s the part of what they saw. Some say this…and they were right for that part; they were right but until you get to see the whole picture. So if you’re not trying to study to know the whole picture, you can…you are really lost in the maze. So to know the true nature of the father, that is the Christ… that is what xxx

Peter: We have to listen to Christ to know who the Father really is. We cannot listen to the prophets; we cannot listen to Moses; we cannot listen… We have to listen to Christ. That’s why He spoke this parable to them to redefine to them who the Father really is not what they thought He was.

Anchor Lady: And in Christ ends the whole speaking. So there’s no another new testament coming from any prophet anymore—that is the complete picture. I just hope you are going to join us next week as we continue this. And I hope you have learnt something about…how the Father is reacting this way, showing compassion to this younger son just because of His nature—He cannot help it.

Peter: It’s just about his nature… it’s just about who he really is. And I think the foundation of a robust fellowship with God will always kick-start from knowing his very true nature. That’s the foundation. If we get it wrong at that very point in time, we would get a lot of things wrong. And that is why the Bible says we are ministers of the new covenant. A lot of ministers now who are ministers of the old covenant and we are caught in the midst of the confusion. So this is quite foundational, this is anything anyone can get from this parable of the prodigal father, Luke 15; the key thing you can get from the parable is that Jesus represented all over again who the father is and it is revolutional in our fellowship with the father himself.

Anchor Lady: You might have noticed that we have extended this episode beyond the normal time… you know, this is the nature of the father we are talking about, you know…and there’s so much confusion about it. To really meet people to clarify…hope that we will be able to… we have done some justice about it… I want you to go further to study this. So till we meet next week when we continue the story… it’s just like we are two thirds or half…because we have only scratched the surface… We’ve talked about the younger son and a bit of the father and then the elder brother is still there. We hope to see you next week when we continue this story, just remember, God has end all the speaking in the son, so the son is the express image of the Father…

Peter: …ultimate expression of who the Father really is

Anchor Lady: I hope you get this picture and you keep him close to your heart. So till we see you next week, we want to say byeeeeeeee

Peter: byeeeee, see you.

Anchor Lady: byeeee

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