Matters of Faith: A Reflection of Your Father

A Reflection of Your Father

John‬ ‭8:39-45‬ ‭(CEB‬‬)
“They replied, “Our father is Abraham.” Jesus responded, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do Abraham’s works. Instead, you want to kill me, though I am the one who has spoken the truth I heard from God. Abraham didn’t do this. You are doing your father’s works.” They said, “Our ancestry isn’t in question! The only Father we have is God!” Jesus replied, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God. Here I am. I haven’t come on my own. God sent me. Why don’t you understand what I’m saying? It’s because you can’t really hear my words. Your father is the devil. You are his children, and you want to do what your father wants. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has never stood for the truth, because there’s no truth in him. Whenever that liar speaks, he speaks according to his own nature, because he’s a liar and the father of liars.”

‭‭Not knowing who your father is can be sad. Too many times we hear of women looking for the fathers of their children, children searching for their fathers, or of fathers who have abandoned their parenting role, stepped out of the picture and left their families without a father-figure at all. DNA testing has become so commonplace and so popular that television programs have made millions revealing the paternity of children.

As a point of information, the U.S. Census Bureau tell us that 23 percent of American children live in single-parent households. However, in minority communities, those numbers are drastically different, particularly in Hispanic/Latino and Black communities. The rate of single-parent households in the Hispanic/Latino community is 42 percent, and a whopping 72 percent in Black communities. As disconcerting as these statistics may be, it’s far more disconcerting to realize that your father is the father of lies, a deceiver, a murderer — the devil himself.

Because paternity can sometimes be determined by resemblances and other traits, Jesus tells the Scribes and the Pharisees, who claimed to be children of Abraham, that their actions and their behavior say otherwise. They exhibited characteristics that resembled their true father. They were the biological children of Abraham, but their actions resembled those of Satan.

Standing before them was God incarnate and they did not recognize Him (John 1:14). The truth was speaking to them and they couldn’t hear Him. Love was with them, and they couldn’t receive it. The one who is before Abraham was, is in their presence, and they couldn’t recognize Him. The things that they desired to do revealed who their father truly was. No DNA test was necessary. To their statement, “Our ancestry isn’t in question! The only Father we have is God!” Jesus replied, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God. Here I am.”

What’s interesting about this text, especially in light of today’s increasing percentages of single-parent households and paternity issues, is that Jesus makes it clear that biological paternity is not the most important thing.  The relationship one has to the Father is what matters.

Did you get that?

When you know your paternity, even if it’s not biological, you can recognize your father when you see him. Your actions will reflect the character and the nature of the one that loves you and the one that you love. Beyond biological, it’s relational.

Then the question becomes, are your actions favorably reflecting your Father?

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting, and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Listen here or by phone at 626-226-1448. Be sure to Friend “Matters of Faith” on Facebook and email us at mattersoffaith.mof@gmail.com. Order your copy of Matters of Faith: The Book here.

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