Advancing the Conversation of Jesus
SECRET #39 is: The follower of Jesus is careful to do the will of the Father. We just saw in SECRET #38 that Jesus makes it clear that no matter what your lingo is, calling him “Lord”, or what you have done-spoken, cast out demons or healed in the name of Jesus, or claim to be a believer in Jesus, you may not enter the Kingdom of heaven. There is only one qualification Jesus gives in this context and it is: only “he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.”
Jesus uses this same terminology when he was making the point about who his real family members are: And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Behold My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:49-50)
Jesus first refers to God as his Father in the 7th chapter of Matthew. It’s interesting to note that Jesus doesn’t use the term Father when speaking to the Pharisees or the devil. The term Father is used primarily when he is interacting with his disciples and potential disciples. It’s also interesting to note Jesus is the only character in the Gospel of Matthew to use the term Father. Jesus identifies God as his own Father through the use of the phrases my Father, my heavenly Father, or my Father in heaven.
Jesus also makes several references to our relationship with the Father. Jesus says: “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven…. Therefore you are to be perfect or complete in your love toward everyone, as your heavenly Father is complete in His love of everyone…. Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”
Why is this Fatherly image so vital? In a sense, as Jesus shared his relationship with the Father, it was a personal invitation to enter into that same relationship with Jesus and the Father. Jesus says that “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.” (John 6:44) And in his prayer to the Father in John 17 Jesus says: “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one;” (John 17:20-22)
SECRET #39 is: The follower of Jesus is careful to do the will of the Father. So, what does it mean to do the will of the Father? I think Jesus answers this in his next story where he compares the wise man and the foolish man who built on two different foundations. Here it is: “He who hears my words and practices them” is the answer to doing the will of the Father! Listen to Jesus and do what he says. FOLLOW HIM!