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Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” John 14:8 (NLT)

The word Father had a completely different connotation to Philip in his day than it does to us today. The term ‘Father’ was much more than a symbol. It conjured up in the minds of every Jew a man that was honored, revered, feared and loved all at once. He was the essence of stability, love, consistency and trust. 

Philip was seeking what each of us wants in life. Someone that could be trusted to do what he said he’d do. Someone in whom they saw power and intimacy and leadership and sensitivity. Today, everyone has the same longing deep within them. We all long to have someone in our lives we can count on to be, do and say what they say they will. 

My apologies for a moment to the women reading this post. Mothers too have a powerful influence in our lives. But to get the full essence of Philips request we need to realize the immense influence of fathers in the emotional, physical and spiritual development of each of us. 

In the same way we need to realize that the ‘father’ that Philip sought is still being sought by many today. While it’s impossible for anyone to fulfill all the qualities of our heavenly Father, it’s imperative that we as fathers strive to work towards that goal.

So, what does our heavenly Father look like? Watch Jesus.

Ask the woman who was guilty of adultery. Remember, she wasn’t accused. She was guilty. Jesus makes no effort to exonerate her. He doesn’t argue her guilt at all. He simply says she was not condemned. What a Compassionate Father!

Question the man who lived his entire life rejecting God. That is, until his dying breath on the cross when he begged Jesus for mercy. Moments later he joined his Savior in Paradise. What a Merciful Father.
Ask the blind man who spend his entire life in physical darkness only to be misunderstood when Jesus gave him sight. What an Understanding Father!

Listen to the father of the seizure ridden boy as he tells the story of how Jesus healed his son and how, that night, he and his wife slept soundly for the first time in years. What a Sensitive Father!

Hear the story the paralytic by the pool recount. He’d given up any hope of healing. His disability started out being physical but grew to the point where it was emotional (I’ll never make it to the pool. I’ll never be healed) and then spiritual (even God has forgotten me). Then Jesus came. What an Encouraging and Healing Father!

Max Lucado states, “Faith begins when you see God on the mountain and you are in the valley and you know that you are too weak to make the climb.”

It’s during those dark times in our lives that we echo the words of Philip. I don’t understand all that’s going on. The future scares me. Just show me the Father and I’ll be okay.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, Daddy, God of all creation. Thank you for being the kind of Father I need for all time. When I feel weak and am unsure I can go on, help me to see Jesus so that I can see you. Amen.

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