How is God the "Father"?

G. Campbell Morgan

The word Father itself, as Jesus used of God, does not at all suggest what we mean by father today. It does not suggest the origination of life. The Greek word so translated, the Latin word which was derived from the Greek, and our word derived from the Latin suggest, not the fountain of life, not the origin of life, but a nourisher, one who cares for. The Aramaic word Abba, appearing in our New Testament, is used in our literal and immediate sense, but its root idea is figurative and remote.

The Father, then, is One Who nourishes, One Who cares for; One Who makes His sun to shine upon the evil as well as upon the good; One Whose relationship to those of whom He is Father, is the relationship of providence, of love and care, of thought, blessing and guidance. Jesus perpetually spoke of God as Father, essentially as His own Father, peculiarly as the Father of His disciples, inclusively as the Father of all men.

Thus, Father is a word that suggests a relationship between that God Who cannot be defined and all the creatures of His hand. We are not now discussing the question of the Fatherhood of God, in the special New Testament sense as resulting from the regeneration of the individual. We are simply taking the word in the sense in which Jesus made use of it, as a revelation of God in His attitude towards, and relationship with, men.

Adapted from The Teaching of Christ, God, by G. Campbell Morgan.

Originally published September 14, 2010.

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