HIS PARENTAL CARE
BY: JONATHAN MITCHELL
6. Jesus then says to him, “I, Myself, am (exist being) the Way, the Truth (the Reality) and the Life (or: = I am the way to really live). No one is presently or progressively coming toward the Father, except through Me (through means of Me, or, through the midst of Me).
7. “Since you men have personally and experientially known Me (or: If you folks had insight of Me or were acquainted with Me), you would likely have seen and now know (or: perceive) the Father, also. And from right now (this moment) you are intimately, experientially and progressively knowing (or: gaining insight) and have seen Him.”
8. Philip then says to Him, “O Lord (Master), show us the Father (point the Father out to us), and it is continuing to be sufficient (adequate; enough) for us.”
9. Jesus is then saying to him, “I continue being (I am) with you men so much time, and you have not come to intimately and experientially know Me, Philip? The one having seen Me has seen, and now perceives, the Father! How are you now saying ‘show us the Father’?
Philip’s heart desire, that which would have been enough for him – and he felt this to be true for all of them – was to perceive, understand and know the Father.
The above conversation which Jesus had with His students is found in John 14. In vs. 5 Thomas had just asked Jesus where He was going and how they could know the way to get there. Vs. 6 gives the destination: the Father. But what is the Father like? Jesus tells His students that if they have “seen” Him, they also see and perceive the Father. Who He was/is portrays the Father, and He is the Way to the Father.
So through the life of Jesus – what He did and what He said; how He treated folks and how He related to them and to His Father; the Life that He expressed through His being, as recorded in the gospels – we can see the Father.
But we can also see the Father through His parental care of His children in the Old Testament. We see that He got frustrated and upset with their behavior, yet we see that He was longsuffering with them. But we also see that He did bring judgment upon them for a time. He did not “spare the rod.” Yet there is a beautiful picture of His Parental care that can be seen in the Septuagint (LXX) translation (made around 180 BC) of Hosea 11:1-4. I will give it first in the Charles Thomson translation (he was Secretary of the Continental Congress from 1774-1789):
1. When Israel way young I loved him, and I called his children out of Egypt.
2. The more I called them, the more they ran from My presence. They sacrificed to the Baalims, and burned incense to graven images;
3. therefore I bound Ephraim’s feet. I took him up in My arms. When they did not know that I heal by the destruction of men, I bound them with the cords of My love.
4. Now I will be to them as a man who slappeth his cheeks, and I will keep an eye upon him, and exercise authority over him.
Did you catch that phrase in vs. 3? “… that I heal by the destruction of men.” Further, the binding of Ephraim’s feet is with cords of His love! Now He is talking about discipline here. Israel had turned from God (walked away); the binding of the feet is like the hobbling of a horse – to keep one from wandering off. But this is accompanied by His taking Ephraim up I His arms.
We know the history of Israel, and God’s judgments upon them for their turning away from Him. But this passage lets us see the Father. The judgment is not the end. He will “exercise authority over” His children.
I see some other possibilities in the Greek of this text, so I will share my rendering of this passage:
1. Because Israel [is] a young child, I Myself also love him, and I once called his children together from out of Egypt.
2. The more I called them [to Me], the more they distanced themselves and kept away from My face (or: immediate presence). They sacrificed to the Baals, and then burned incense to the carved and chiselled images (= idols).
3. And so I, Myself tied the feet of Ephraim together (i.e., restrained him; = hobbled him to keep him from wandering) [then] I took him up upon My arm – and yet they did not realize (or: know) that I had healed them.
4. In the thorough ruin and destruction of humans I stretch out to them and lay [My hand] on them in binding ties (or: bonds) of My love. And so I will be to them as a person slapping (or: striking) [someone] on his cheek [note: recall Paul’s situation in 2 Cor. 12:7], then I will look upon him (= either: keep an eye on him; or: give respect to him). I will prevail with him and then give ability and power to him.
Ah, what persistent and relentless Parental care we receive from our Father.
HIS PARENTAL CARE [Jonathan Mitchell] 1