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On the Side - August 2013

Just Like His Father
by Sharon Chatwell

We have three sons. (Actually, we have three sons and one beautiful daughter, but I’ll have to tell you about her on another day.) Three sons…and each one, in his own way, is like his father. They are all tall and strong. They each walk and talk like their dad. Their sense of humor is similar. And they all sneeze when they go out in the bright sunshine…just like their dad.

As a culture we tend to look for similarities among family members; but especially, it seems, between father and son. It shows up in our everyday language. We say things like… “He’s a chip off the old block” or “He’s the spitting image of his dad.” We even make up sayings like, “The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.”

Whether my sons realize it or not, they are each like their father in many ways. And I am glad of that. (After all, I love their dad a lot!) But no matter how similar they may be, they will never be exactly like their dad, because – after all – they are different people. They each have different interests, strengths, and abilities; they even have different weaknesses. (It seems a shame to mention weaknesses; but we all have them, don’t we?) Let’s face it… No two people are exactly the same; therefore no son is ever exactly like his father.

However, we know that Jesus, our Lord and Savior, is just like His Father.

John 10:30 assures us that Jesus and the Father “are one.” And Hebrews 1:3 tells us that “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being…”

“The exact representation of his being…” Wow! I like the way that sounds. That means that I don’t have to wonder what God is like. If I want to know, I can just look at Jesus!

John, who was known as the beloved disciple, records in John 14:6-9 that on the night before Jesus’ Crucifixion, He said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.”

Jesus is just like His Father.

Jesus is Immanuel, “God with us.” (Matt. 1:22-23) He is not a man who became a god, or even a man who pretended to be God. Jesus IS God and WAS since the beginning. John 1:1-3 tells us that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made…” In verse 14 the same passage tells us, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”

Jesus is the Son of God, and just like His Father; He is perfect and has never sinned. The Good News is that because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, we can become part of God’s family too!

John 1:12 tells us, “to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” And 1 John 5:1-3 says: “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God…”

What sets us apart as children of God? Well, just like in any earthly family, we have traits and characteristics similar to our Father. 1 John 5 continues “… everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.”

But what are these commands? In John 15:12 Jesus tells us, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”

What a wonderful goal… to truly love one another, as Christ has loved us. As children of God, let’s allow His love to fill our hearts. As we do, I believe that soon we will begin to look just like our Father.

Sharon is a wife and mother living in Lincoln, Nebraska. Her prayer is that you will have joy and peace through Jesus Christ, and that everyone around you will begin to notice that you look more and more like your heavenly Father.