God the FamilyWhat are the odds of finding a gold nugget on the sidewalks of New York City? I’m not talking about a gold nugget that might have fallen from someone’s pocket. I’m talking about a huge rock in plain sight that people walked around repeatedly, yet apparently unaware of its presence. What if I told you the nugget was on a sidewalk on Wall Street, and all the bankers and investor’s so-called “moneymen” walked around it in their quest for great riches?
Proportionately, what follows is even more amazing, when one considers that gold paves the streets of the Eternal Kingdom, and the sidewalks of New York are not as crowded as the doctrinal evaluations of historic Christianity. All the best thinkers and all the most devout followers of Jesus Christ have sought to understand, and have attempted to explain the divine. The Trinity is their conclusion, God is a Trinity, God is three yet one. Yet, when all the wisest throughout the ages are finished, these great minds of mankind say the Trinity is a great mystery… “Who can explain such a high thing?”
The Bible says, “let us create man in our image”…“So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:26,27).
Jesus says, “I and [my] Father are one” (John 10:30), and “All things are delivered to me of my Father and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and [he] to whom the Son will reveal [him]” (Luke 10:22).
Jesus never once spoke directly of the Trinity, but here He clearly speaks of “Family”. He is saying that He and God the Father are related, they are relatives, and they are Father and Son.
This is why Jesus went to the cross. John 5:18 says, “Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.”
So, you ask what is this great nugget of understanding? It is that God is “Family”! If you employ family-dynamics to God’s Word, these “Great Mysteries” fade away to where even a child can understand. After all, the first spoken words of a child are “mama” or “dada” and they understand the relationship between mama and dada.
Any detective worth his salt when given a father and a son would ask; “Is there no mother?” The mother bears the children. She nurtures, instructs, and is often grieved by the behavior of her children. The mother is the fruit bearer. Naturally, the Mother is the Holy Spirit. So God is family…God the Family. God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Jesus Christ is the “Manifest Will” of God the Father, eternally born of the Holy Spirit. Christ’s role in creation was made manifest by the presence of the Holy Spirit, pregnant with the Father’s “Will” and “moved upon the face of the waters”.
The incarnation of Jesus Christ was made manifest by the “overshadowing” presence of the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father, ever bearing Christ. Jesus the “only begotten of the Father” and the “Son of man” was miraculously born of Mary.
We then become the Bride, the wife of Christ. Our lives are to bear out Jesus, just as the Holy Spirit bears out Christ, who is one with the Father.
Now, understand that many theologians have walked around this revelation of God. They saw a “Trinity” but they did not see a “Family”. Certainly man is a trio consisting of body, soul and spirit, and while being three are even yet, but one person. These dynamics reach eternally, beyond physical constraints, and urge our view of family upwards toward the very thing it was imaged after, “God”.
It is not as though some have never seen this nugget. Many have pointed it out along their way. A man named Count Zinzendorf, living in the 1700s saw this nugget and pointed it to others who were known as Moravians.
In recent history, Scott Hahn wrote of this nugget in his book First comes Love. He quotes Pope John Paul II:
"In the light of the New Testament it is possible to discern how the primordial model of the family is to be sought in God Himself, in the Trinitarian mystery of His life...God in His deepest mystery is not a solitude, but a family, since He has in Himself Fatherhood, Son-ship and the essence of family, which is love." Hahn goes on to say: “that the Pope is not saying that God is like a family, but that God is Family”.
In a Science article entitled The Holy Spirit: The Feminine Aspect Of the Godhead” http://www.pistissophia.org/The_Holy_Spirit/the_holy_spirit.html
"A new response to the "image" of the Holy Spirit is taking shape quietly in scholarly circles throughout the world, as the result of new findings in the Dead Sea Scriptures, the Coptic Nag Hammadi and intertestamental texts of Jewish mystics found side-by-side the writings of the early Christian church. Scholars are recognizing the Holy Spirit as the "female vehicle" for the outpouring of higher teaching and spiritual rebirth".
So, why was this nugget dismissed, ignored and left unexplored? Probably in-part for the same reason a gold nugget could go undiscovered on the sidewalks of NY! Most thought it was too obvious, too simple. Some simply like to make things more complicated, while others thought comparing God to family was sacrilegious.
It seems to me that if family is imaged after God, then it ought to elevate our view of family as something sacred. It also seems to me that if we viewed “family” as sacred, then families would elevate in value, not continue to deteriorate as we see today!
|While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, who is my mother? And who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. |
This verse always troubled me because Jesus seemed indifferent to His family and to His mother in particular. He also seemed to validate “good works” in this verse.
What if we consider this passage in light of "God the Family"? What if Christ is not speaking metaphorically about family, but of actual eternal reality?
Let’s look closer at “whosoever shall do the will of my Father”. Do we “do the will of the Father” through self-determination, or through the bearance of the Holy Spirit? I think most would agree that we do the will of God the Father by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
|John 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. |
|John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. |
If the Only Begotten of the Father can do nothing outside of the “will of the Father”, then why would we? A relative of Christ is likewise born of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit bears the Father’s will.
Jesus told Nicodemus:
|John 3:5-7 …except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. |
Clearly a relative of Jesus Christ must be conceived by the will of God the Father and be born out by the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus was accused:
|Matthew 12:14-31 …but when the Pharisees heard it, they said, this fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils… wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. |
The blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, the unpardonable sin has been difficult for many to understand.
From a family dynamic, the Son of God is identified as the Son because He always does His Father’s will. In fact He is the firstborn embodiment of the Father’s will (Colossians 1:15 …who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature).
Essentially, the Pharisees are accusing Jesus of being fathered by Beelzebub making Him a bastard. Fidelity is a question of the mother’s faithfulness to the father, in this case the fidelity of the Holy Spirit to God the Father.
The mother verifies the legitimacy of her children:
|Matthew 11:19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children. |
To accuse the Holy Spirit of unfaithfulness is unpardonable because it questions the perfect relationship between the Holy Spirit and God the Father.
These verses are difficult to reconcile outside of a familial perspective. Is “doing the will of the Father” about self-determination? Or is “doing the will of the Father” about God bearing Jesus Christ out in our life through the overshadowing presence of the Holy Spirit in our heart?
Many believe the Bible uses metaphors, when in reality we are often the metaphor of eternal reality. Is family a metaphor of the more tangible Trinity? Man is imaged after God; God is not imaged after man!