May 27, 2014

Patros Mou: "My Father"

John 5:16-23

“My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.”
—John 5:17


God as “Father” is a prominent theme in the New Testament. In John’s gospel alone, the name “Father” appears more than a hundred times. Out of that number, Jesus calls God Patros mou, “my Father,” almost thirty times.

Just its number of occurrences makes “my Father” an important name for God. But this is also a distinct name that only Jesus could use because of his unique relationship with God the Father. This refers not to the usual way of human generation but to the fact that Jesus was “begotten, not made,” as we confess in the Nicene Creed.

In claiming God as Patros mou, Jesus states his oneness with his Father: that he loves his Father, honors his Father, obeys his Father, does his Father’s will, speaks his Father’s words, and carries out his Father’s mission.

The Jewish religious leaders understood clearly. They realized that in saying Patros mou, “my Father,” Jesus claimed to be equal with God. In response, they were outraged and plotted to kill him.

Because Jesus could rightly address God as Patros mou, “my Father,” we have the right to be called children of that same Father—adopted children, but children nonetheless. (See John 1:12-13; Rom. 8:14-17.)

Keep in mind today that Jesus’ Father is your loving Father too.

Our Father in heaven, through Jesus, your Son, we belong to you. By your Spirit’s power, help us to live as Jesus lived in relation to you, in thanksgiving and holiness. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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