As of late certain passages of the Bible about seeing the Father have stood out to me.
John 1:18 says, “No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.”
Philip wanted to “see the Father” and Jesus replied, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:8-9).
I was working on a paraphrase of Ephesians 3 when I ran across verses 14 -15: “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named…”
The core phrase “family is named” got me this time. So I investigated more deeply. The Greek word for family is “patria,” where we get “patriarch.” The idea is that the family has the father’s likeness. The family is of the father’s kind. When coupled with the use of the word “name,” it was clear that Paul was not stating some religious lingo as has often been translated and how it usually sounded to me. But “name,” as used in the Bible, includes the core makeup of the person: their character, their nature, their authority and power.
That is when Ephesians 3 really cleared up for me. The Spirit made the text alive so I wasn’t just reading words on a page. Paul was talking about the Father’s fathering. Just how does the Father father us? Paul went on to explain. There is a dynamic power from the Spirit strengthening us within. The Spirit is pouring something into us like oil. What? Who? Christ, the Anointed One, the Son! That is how the Father’s likeness gets in us. Christ dwells in our hearts at the core of the person where life choices begin. The Greek implies that He is enthroned there down to every little detail that grounds us and entwines within love through faith.
It is down, inside the heart, at the core, that Jesus makes His Father known. Jesus “exegetes” the Father in a living way inside us where living occurs. That is how the Father’s image and likeness is re-introduced into the human vessel. The Son that the Father is pleased with is made living in us through the Spirit. The Son is the Way. The Spirit is “waying” the Son in us. The Father sees the Son and is seen through His Son! It is a beautiful family dynamic into which we may be caught up.
Here’s the paraphrase of Ephesians 3:14-21:
14 For this grace infused cause I bow my knees before the Father of our Anointed Ruler, Lord Jesus.
15 It is out from the Father that every father’s likeness is named, both in heaven and earth. Naming is always according to its kind.
16 This naming according to the Father’s kind works according to the rich pattern of His glory, which is the dynamic power to grow strong through means of His Spirit poured into the inner person.
17 That is where the Anointed Ruler is enthroned and at home. This dynamic of growing in strength is through means of life alignment. This happens within the sphere of your hearts that are rooted and grounded in love – the love of the Seed going into death so that by giving Himself abundantly, life rises.
18 It is through this fathering of us, by placing the Son of His love within our core, that we become fully enabled to make this whole “Christianity thing” our own with everyone else also being set-apart into their inheritance as they claim it with every step, laying hold of the breadth and the length and the height and the depth of it.
19 Thus, the Son who said, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father” becomes personally known in our core of being, in a way that transcends knowledge because it is love revealed. The Anointed Ruler’s love has a unique character that can only truly be known in this way because it is so contrary to human love. Thus we are filled with God’s fullness.
20 That is why I bow my knees. It is to the One Who is able! He is the One who can make it happen in a way that far surpasses our meager asking or worldly thinking because it is all according to the pattern of His working, not ours working within us.
21 May the Father be ascribed all the brilliant and intrinsically valuable judgment with the “called-out” people and within Anointed Ruler Jesus progressing into all generations to the eons of the eons, so be it!