‘The Son Is Willing to Reveal the Father’
“Who the Father is, no one knows but the Son, and he to whom the Son is willing to reveal him.”—LUKE 10:22.
WHAT IS YOUR ANSWER?
Why could Jesus reveal his Father in a special way?
How did Jesus reveal his Father to others?
In what ways can you imitate Jesus and reveal the Father to others?
1, 2. What question is difficult for many to answer? Why?
WHO is God? This is a question that is very difficult for many people to answer. For example, most who say that they are Christians believe that God is a Trinity, but they say that this teaching is impossible to understand. One author and clergyman wrote that the teaching of the Trinity cannot be explained because there are some things that man is unable to understand. Others believe in evolution. They say that there is no God and that all the wonderful things we see in creation happened by accident. Charles Darwin did not deny that God exists. He said that humans do not have the ability to understand completely the subject of God.
2 Whatever they believe, most people have questions about God. But many stop searching for God because the answers they find do not satisfy them. Satan has “blinded the minds of the unbelievers.” (2 Corinthians 4:4) So it is not surprising that most people are confused and do not know the truth about God, the Father and the Creator of the universe!—Isaiah 45:18.
3. (a) Who has revealed the Father to us? (b) What questions will we answer?
3 It is very important that people learn the truth about God. Why? Because only those who call “on the name of Jehovah” will be saved. (Romans 10:13) For us to call on God’s name means that we have to know who God is and what kind of Person he is. Jesus Christ taught these important truths to his disciples. He revealed the Father to them. (Read Luke 10:22.) This article will give us the answers to the following questions: Why was Jesus able to reveal the Father in a way that no one else could? How did Jesus do so? And how can we imitate Jesus by revealing, or telling others about, the Father?
JESUS COULD REVEAL THE FATHER IN A SPECIAL WAY
4, 5. Why could Jesus reveal his Father in a special way?
4 Jesus was the best person to help others get to know his Father. Why? Because before all other life was created, Jesus was a spirit creature who lived in heaven. He was “the only-begotten Son of God.” (John 1:14; 3:18) Only Jesus was there with his Father before all other creation began, and his Father was able to give him His complete attention. As they communicated with each other over thousands and thousands of years, Jesus learned about his Father and his qualities. As their relationship became stronger, their love and affection for each other grew deeper. (John 5:20; 14:31) Imagine how much Jesus learned about his Father’s personality!—Read Colossians 1:15-17.
5 The Father chose the Son to be his representative, to speak for him as “The Word of God.” (Revelation 19:13) So only Jesus was given a special assignment to reveal the Father to others. For this reason, John wrote that Jesus, “the Word,” is “in the bosom position with the Father.” (John 1:1, 18) John may have been thinking of a custom that was common at mealtimes. One guest would be placed close to another guest so that they could easily have a conversation. In a similar way, the Son was “in the bosom position” with his Father and was able to have deep conversations with him.
6, 7. How did the relationship between Jehovah and Jesus grow stronger?
6 The Son “came to be the one [God] was specially fond of day by day.” (Read Proverbs 8:22, 23, 30, 31.) The relationship between Father and Son continued to grow stronger. They worked together, and Jesus learned to imitate his Father’s qualities. As other intelligent creatures were created, the Son saw how Jehovah treated each one of them, and his love and respect for his Father grew deeper.
7 Even when Satan rebelled against Jehovah’s right to rule, the Son was able to learn how Jehovah would show love, justice, wisdom, and power in a complicated situation. This helped Jesus to be prepared for the difficulties he would experience in his ministry on earth.—John 5:19.
8. Why do the powerful stories about Jesus help us to learn about the Father’s qualities?
8 Because of his close relationship with Jehovah, Jesus was able to reveal the Father in more detail than anyone else ever could. The best way for us to learn about the Father is to learn about what his only-begotten Son taught and did. For example, would we completely understand what the word “love” means if we only read an explanation in a dictionary? It would be difficult. But when we think about the stories in the Bible that describe Jesus’ ministry, we see the way he cared for others and we can understand what it means that “God is love.” (1 John 4:8, 16) Love was not the only quality that Jesus revealed to his disciples. He revealed God’s other qualities to them while he was on earth.
HOW JESUS REVEALED HIS FATHER
9. (a) In what two ways did Jesus reveal his Father to his disciples? (b) Give an example that Jesus used to reveal his Father.
9 How did Jesus reveal the Father to his disciples and to those who later became his disciples? He did this in two ways: through his teachings and through his conduct. First we will learn about Jesus’ teachings. What Jesus taught his followers teaches us about his Father’s ways, thinking, and feelings. For example, Jesus compared his Father to a man who owns a flock of sheep. One of them goes missing. Because he cares for each one, he leaves the flock to go and find the one lost sheep. Jesus said that when the man finds the lost sheep, “he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that have not strayed.” Why did Jesus use this illustration? He explained: “It is not a desirable thing with my Father who is in heaven for one of these little ones to perish.” (Matthew 18:12-14) What can you learn about Jehovah from this illustration? Sometimes you may feel that you are worthless and are forgotten. But remember, your heavenly Father is interested in you and cares for you. He thinks of you as one of “these little ones.”
10. How did Jesus reveal his Father through his own conduct?
10 The second way in which Jesus revealed the Father to his disciples was by his conduct. So when the apostle Philip asked Jesus: “Show us the Father,” Jesus could say: “He that has seen me has seen the Father also.” (John 14:8, 9) Here are some examples of how Jesus showed his Father’s qualities. When a leper begged Jesus to cure him, Jesus touched the man who was “full of leprosy” and told him: “I want to. Be made clean.” After he was cured, the leper knew that it was Jehovah who gave Jesus the power to cure him. (Luke 5:12, 13) Also, when Lazarus died, the disciples must have felt the Father’s compassion when Jesus “groaned in the spirit and became troubled” and “gave way to tears.” Although Jesus knew that he was going to resurrect Lazarus, he felt the same emotional pain that Lazarus’ family and friends felt. (John 11:32-35, 40-43) You may have your own favorite Bible stories about Jesus that help you to see the mercy the Father shows.
11. (a) When Jesus cleansed the temple, what did he reveal about his Father? (b) Why does this comfort us?
11 When you read the story of how Jesus cleansed the temple, what do you learn? Imagine what happened: Jesus makes a whip of ropes and forces the people who are selling cattle and sheep out of the temple. Then he goes to the people who are changing money, scatters the coins, and turns their tables over. (John 2:13-17) That strong action made the disciples remember the prophecy that King David wrote: “Sheer zeal for your house has eaten me up.” (Psalm 69:9) What Jesus did showed that he really wanted to defend true worship. Do you see Jehovah’s personality in Jesus when you read this story? It reminds us that not only does God have all the power needed to remove wickedness from the earth but he really wants to remove it. Imagine how Jehovah must feel as he sees the wickedness all over the earth! The way that Jehovah and Jesus feel about the situation gives us great comfort when we suffer injustice.
12, 13. What can you learn about Jehovah from the way Jesus treated his disciples?
12 Another example of how Jesus revealed his Father is the way he treated his disciples. They kept arguing about who was the greatest. (Mark 9:33-35; 10:43; Luke 9:46) Because Jesus had spent so much time with his Father, he knew how Jehovah feels about pride. (2 Samuel 22:28; Psalm 138:6) Jesus had also seen Satan the Devil’s proud attitude. Satan is a selfish creature who cares only about his own importance. So Jesus must have been very sad to see the disciples he had taught continue to show a proud attitude. They were interested in their own importance! He could even see this attitude among the ones he had chosen as apostles! They showed this proud attitude until the very last day of Jesus’ life on earth. (Luke 22:24-27) But Jesus continued to correct them with kindness. He never lost hope that one day they would learn to imitate the same humble attitude he had.—Philippians 2:5-8.
13 Can you see Jehovah’s personality from the way Jesus imitated his Father and patiently corrected the wrong attitude of his disciples? Do you learn about the Father from what Jesus said and did? His Father does not abandon His people even though they often make mistakes. The knowledge of God’s qualities encourages us to repent and pray for Jehovah’s forgiveness when we make mistakes.
THE SON WANTED TO REVEAL HIS FATHER
14. How did Jesus show that he wanted to reveal his Father to others?
14 Many rulers try to keep people under their control by keeping them in ignorance, not giving them the knowledge they need. Jesus was not like that. Jesus wanted to help others to learn about his Father, so he revealed everything they needed to know about Jehovah. (Read Matthew 11:27.) Jesus also gave his disciples “intellectual capacity that [they might] gain the knowledge of the true one,” Jehovah God. (1 John 5:20) What does that mean? Jesus helped his followers to understand what he taught about the Father. He did not hide his Father in the teaching of the Trinity, a strange teaching that no one could understand.
15. Why did Jesus not tell his disciples everything that he knew about his Father?
15 Did Jesus reveal everything that he knew about his Father? No, he showed wisdom when he did not tell his disciples everything. (Read John 16:12.) Why? Because his disciples were “not able to bear” all the knowledge at that time. But Jesus explained that much more knowledge would be revealed to them when “the helper” arrived. This helper was the holy spirit, which would guide them “into all the truth.” (John 16:7, 13) Wise parents may not tell their children everything until the children are old enough to understand. So like a wise parent, Jesus waited until his disciples were ready to understand more about the Father. Jesus was kind, and he remembered that his disciples had limited abilities.
IMITATE JESUS AND HELP OTHERS TO KNOW JEHOVAH
16, 17. Why are you able to reveal the Father to others?
16 When you get to know someone well and find that he has a loving personality, would you not want to tell others about him? When he was on earth, Jesus talked about his Father. (John 17:25, 26) Is it possible for us to do the same and reveal Jehovah to others?
17 As we have learned, Jesus had much greater knowledge about his Father than anyone else had. But he wanted to teach some of the things he knew, and he even gave his followers the ability to understand deeper things about his Father’s qualities. Jesus has helped us to know our Father in a way that most people today do not. We are so grateful that Jesus wanted to reveal his Father to us through his teachings and conduct! We feel honored to know Jehovah. (Jeremiah 9:24; 1 Corinthians 1:31) We have worked hard to have a close relationship with Jehovah, and he is now closer to us. (James 4:8) So we are able to teach others what we know about Jehovah. How can we do that?
18, 19. In what ways can you reveal the Father to others? Explain.
18 When we imitate Jesus by what we say and do, we reveal the Father to others. Remember that many we meet in our ministry do not know who God is. They may have wrong ideas about God because they have been taught false teachings. We can teach them from the Bible what God’s name is, what his purpose for humans is, and what his personality is like. Also, some Bible stories help us to see God’s qualities in a new way that we did not understand before. We can talk to others in the congregation about what we have learned, so that they too can be encouraged.
19 We should imitate Jesus and reveal the Father through our conduct. When people see the love of Christ in the way we act, they may also want to have a relationship with Jesus and his Father. (Ephesians 5:1, 2) The apostle Paul told us: “Become imitators of me, even as I am of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1) We feel honored that by our conduct we can help people to see what Jehovah is like! Let us all continue to imitate Jesus by revealing the Father to others.
SOME EXPRESSIONS EXPLAINED
Reveal the Father: To show God’s qualities through teaching and conduct
Compassion: To feel pity, sympathy, and understanding for others when they suffer
[Blurb on page 5]
Your heavenly Father is interested in you and cares for you
[Blurb on page 6]
Jesus revealed the Father through his teachings and through his conduct
[Blurb on page 7]
Jesus did not hide his Father in a strange teaching that no one could understand
[Picture on page 8]
How can you imitate Jesus and reveal the Father to others?