"But Jesus answered them, 'My Father is working until now, and I am working.' This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. (John 5:17-18)
Whenever Jesus spoke about God, He said God was his "Father." Honestly I have not examined scripture purposely to prove this, but I cannot recall any place He does not refer to God as His Father.
It's a name of tenderness. Intimate connection.
Perhaps the name "Father" does not seem that intimate to you. What about the name "Abba"? In the Hebrew language, to address one's father, the name used in Jesus' time and even today is "Abba." When I lived in Israel, it was a delight to hear this dialog between a father and his children, who called him "abba."
Abba seems tender, because it is. You see, Abba means "Daddy."
So read a text by Jesus putting it in American English terms:
"My Abba is at work until now, so I am at work.
- My Daddy is at work until now, so I am at work."
"Our Abba who art in Heaven...
- Our Daddy who art in Heaven..."
Jesus tells us, that like Him, we are His Father's children. You and I are our Father's children. Jesus conveys we are in the very same family with Him!
Up until Jesus lived on this earth, the Jewish people did not utter God's name, but only used words to describe God's amazing character. Therefore, it was a complete shocker to hear Jesus call God by name. More so even a name of close connection - family and intimacy was just scandalous. If Jesus is God's Son, then He inherits all of who God is and therefore, is on par with God. Scandal! Heresy!
Yet, despite the rumors of scandal and heresy, Jesus never backed down. Rather, He continued this manner of speaking and being straight to the cross.
Jesus knew the blessing of a close personal relationship with His Abba and He wants that for us. He wants to share this Abba, Daddy with each of us. This Abba who tells us who we are, who calls us into maturity, who heals our hearts and relationships. This Daddy who nurtures and disciplines; leads and guides; provides and protects.
Intimacy with Him produces holy desire. First, we desire to repent. Then, we are enabled and empowered to act like Him. This is the outcome of a close relationship with our Abba: To love as He loves; to forgive as He forgives; to walk in our baptism, to live a life free!
I consistently write music of our Abba's love and mercy because it is a foundation, a bedrock. To keep God at arms' length means just that: keeping the lover of our souls outside of our inner selves. Thus, like Adam and Eve, we keep hiding from Him, others and our true selves.
He calls you home. Come home to Abba, to your Daddy.