The Hebrew Scriptures (known to the Christian Church as the ‘Old’ Testament or revelation of God) unveil the teaching of God to His people through the Law, the journey from origins to people to one man – Abraham, and his descendants, and from there to a people called His own. The Wisdom books reveal deeper truths to His people, drawing from wisdom traditions in other cultures, but always pointing to the LORD their God as Truth. The Prophetic literature pointed the people back to the LORD when they strayed into beliefs and worship of idols, gods and paths that led away from the one true God.
When Jesus, born a Jew and living firmly within the Jewish traditions, taught about God the Father, we should remember His intimate and unique relationship with His Heavenly Father.
In the Lord’s Prayer we gain a glimpse of the simple trust and breadth of Jesus’ relationship with the Father, which He ultimately offers us through His death and resurrection. It is a simple prayer with eternal ramifications, without excessive rambling on or explanation. God is our Heavenly Father too, when we turn to Him in faith and trust through Jesus. As Creator, He willingly and creatively gives to His beloved children – so we should ask.
In the Two Great Commandments, Jesus confirmed the continuance with Jewish knowledge of God, quoting directly from Deuteronomy and Leviticus. “The LORD is one, He is God. Love Him with all of your heart, soul and mind, love your neighbour as you love yourself.”
The God of Israel is the God of Jesus, and He is real, present, and active.
He is “the Father”, but without the busy-ness, the absence, the distractedness, or even perhaps the wickedness, the laziness or the abuse of earthly fathers. He is patient, gracious and steadfast in loving-kindness, willing to creatively pour out His blessings on His children here on earth, as He does in heaven. He is the LORD, the God of Israel, of Jesus, of all.