JOHN 20 17 Jesus said (to Mary), “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ”
18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.
“My Father and your Father.” Jesus came to reveal God as Father – the Christian name for God is Father and the Christian name for believers and followers of Jesus is “children of God.”
–J.I. Packer, Knowing God (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1973/1993), 201-202 wrote:
“You sum up the whole of New Testament religion if you describe it as the knowledge of God as one’s holy Father. If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being God’s child, and having God as his Father. If this is not the thought that prompts and controls his worship and prayers and his whole outlook on life, it means that he does not understand Christianity very well at all.
For everything that Christ taught, everything that makes the New Testament new, and better than the Old, everything that is distinctively Christian as opposed to merely Jewish, is summed up in the knowledge of the Fatherhood of God. ‘Father’ is the Christian name for God.”
Jesus was the Son of God. As He grew up Jesus came to realize he had a unique relationship with God the heavenly Father which no other human being has.
John 6: 45 “Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. 46 No-one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father.
So Jesus realized that His ministry was to Reveal God the Father to human beings – to share His unique experience of God with us. And Jesus refers to God as Father 109 times in John’s Gospel!
John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No-one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.
John 14: 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really knew me, you would know a my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me;.
SPEAKING the Father’s WORDS
John 12: 49 For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. 50 … So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”
John 15: 15 I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
DOING the Father’s WORKS
Jesus did not do all his wonderful works of salvation in his own strength or according to his own plans. As a faithful and obedient Son, He simply did what His Father commanded.
John 14: 31 but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.
Jesus did not do his miracles in his own strength but in the power of God, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
John 5:19 Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does.
Here is a little parable. The Son was the Father’s apprentice. Jesus learned from Joseph how to be the carpenter in Nazareth. So also Jesus learned from His heavenly Father the works of the Godhead. Whether giving life, or acting in judgment, the Son only did what the Father did. Because in himself Jesus was indeed God.
John 10: 30 I and the Father are one.”
The whole reason that Jesus the son was born and lived and died so that we could know God as our Father and become God’s children.
John 1:12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
So we can have a relationship with God as God’s children. And the proof of this comes in Jesus’s words to Mary in the Garden after the resurrection
John 20:17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ”
My Father AND your Father – my God and your God. Christians know God as our Father – like the father of the Prodigal Son who welcomed his lost son back home with rejoicing.
Luke 15:23 ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
Jesus came to reveal God as Father. Jesus’s relationship with God as His Father is the pattern for our relationship with God as our Father – knowing the Father and doing the Father’s will. And all this is possible because Jesus is alive today – risen from the dead!