“… and his name shall be called…Everlasting Father…”

December 17, 2012 § 3 Comments

“And they lived happily ever after.”

It’s amazing.  No matter how cynical we become as a culture, no matter how jaded, we still flock to movies with happy endings.  Some would call it wishful thinking, a simple and childish form of escapism that the more realistic among us (known by the rest as “pessimists”) know better than to embrace.

The Bible has another answer:  “[God]…has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).  In other words, even though man is finite and cannot search out the workings of the infinite God who made him, God has put a longing and desire for eternity itself in man’s own heart—so that he knows, ultimately, that this world is not his ultimate happiness.   It was Augustine who said that God has made us for himself, and so our hearts our restless until they rest in him.

It is no surprise, then, that the promise of the child to be born is the promise an eternal relationship with the one, true Father.  The Child and the Father are one, as Jesus himself later told his disciples (John 10:29, 30); it is why he was able to say to Philip, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father…Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me” (John 14:9, 11).

It is one thing to say that the Mighty God is our Savior.  It is quite another to say that this Mighty God is our Father—and that forever!”  It is in this Name that Isaiah proclaims that the power and joy of God come together in the child born to us.  To know that the Mighty God is our Everlasting Father is to begin to know the joy that God promises us is everlasting—it is forever! This joy is not the selfish fulfillment of unending personal happiness but the fulfilling, eternal experience of the only relationship that can truly satisfy us:  “…in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).  The greatest joy of eternity is unending fellowship with our Savior God.

The good news is that we do not have to wait to the end to begin to know this everlasting joy of the Father.  Jesus himself said that it is a reality for all who now know him by faith” “…this is eternal life…[to] know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:1).

Perhaps we have so little joy because we have not fully realized we are sons and daughters of the Everlasting Father.  Perhaps we have been robbed of our joy because we have believed the lie that he is like the weak fathers we have known in this world—especially when we are those fathers. Perhaps joy has eluded us because we have forgotten “what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are” (1 John 3:1).

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§ 3 Responses to “… and his name shall be called…Everlasting Father…”

  • mariemk says:

    Thanks, Rob, for these postings. I’ve been enjoying them and learning a lot from them. This one on Jesus as our “Allmighty Father”, has always been a little confusing to me, since it talks about Jesus being our Father. I know that Jesus says that he and his father are one, but when Jesus prays to his father, I can’t see him talking to himself. I believe that the Father and the Son are of one essence and one God, but the person of Jesus is as God’s son. Did Isaiah know that God had/has a son? Or did he only know God as The Father. Many times Jesus talks about “going to his father” and that “he and his father would come to live within us”.

    Jesus is still my God and brother. I have a hard time referring to him as my Everlasting Father, though he has the same character as his Father. I believe whatever the Bible says, but will just agree to not “try to unscrew the inscrewtable”. Thanks again for these postings. Keep them coming.

  • marcusrdavis says:

    I like the whole “happily ever after” bit. I have told the boys many times that all really good stories are just a reflection of the true story…His story. We are drawn to books and movies with redemption story lines, because we are being drawn to redemption.

  • wonderful, encouraging reminders, Rob. Since I grew up without my ffather learning all that is enfolded in the fact that God is my father has been a long, unfolding process still underway. I absolutely know and believe that this is what provides freedom for joy to come in.

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