I love being a husband. And I love being a dad. It's the best job in the world! On a special day like Father's Day, it seems only fitting to reflect on the joy that this responsibility of fatherhood brings.

 

I adore my one year old son Zion. There's few better feelings in the world for me than spending time with him and watching him develop into a little boy. It warms my heart getting to teach him new tricks and brings me such joy to see him put these skills into practice.

 

Needless to say, I love my son! And although he isn't at a point in his development where he can verbalize it yet, I believe that my son loves me right back. I can see it in the way he smiles, laughs, chases after me to be close to me, and wants to copy whatever I do. And when I say wanting to copy whatever I do - I truly mean "everything."

 

Whether it's what I do, how I eat, what I pick up to play with, where I work, or even the noises I make when I sit or take a drink - my son looks to copy me at every opportunity. I guess imitation is the greatest form of flattery... right?!

 

Like father, like son.

 

 

When I reflect on how my son loves to copy and imitate what I do, I can't help but consider how Jesus Christ imitated His Heavenly Father's nature while he was on earth... and compare that to my own desire as a Christ-follower to imitate Jesus in all I do and say. 

 

Jesus is the "visible image of the invisible God." (Col 1:15 NLT). He is the perfect representation of who God is. He gives us a tangible and true imitation of the love, mercy, character and nature of the God shown in the Bible. If there ever was a "like father, like son" example....then this is it. 

 

Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God.

 

So in what ways does the Bible give us a "like father, like son" view of Jesus imitating his Father? Here are just three ways that I read in the Bible and three challenges that I want to see in my own life as I learn to live more like Jesus. 

 

1. The Son only did what he saw the Father do

Jesus said to them, "Truly, I tell all of you with certainty, the Son can do nothing on his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing, What the Father does, the Son does likewise. The Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing, and he will show him even greater actions than these, so that you may be amazed."

- John 5:19-20 (ISV)

 

Jesus spent time with his Father. He was with Him through eternity. He was by His side as the stars were created, planets formed, land separated, and life breathed into man. Jesus was there when the Father handled man's sin, and when mercy was shown as the story of redemption began. He saw prayers answered, miracles come forth, angels come and go. Jesus saw it all. 

 

But more than that, in the passage in John 5 which we just read - Jesus seems to be speaking not in a past tense, but present tense. Jesus is saying to us that he "sees what the Father is doing" (verse 19) and follows that example. Jesus is watching what the Father is doing in the moment....right in the very situation he was facing....and Jesus chose to follow the Father's example. 

 

God is on the move all around us. We just need to slow down enough to see what it is He is doing and where it is He is moving. For when we do, we might begin to be like Jesus and have the courage to follow the Father's example in that particular moment to bring glory to His name. 

 

God is on the move all around us! Do you see Him?

 

Are you taking the time to slow down enough to see where God is on the move? Do you have the courage to follow His lead to do what you see Him doing?

 

2. The Son only said what he heard the Father say

"Instead, the Father who sent me has himself commanded me what to say and how to speak. And I know that what he commands brings eternal life. What I speak, therefore, I speak just as the Father has told me."

- John 12:49b-50 (ISV)

 

Jesus knew the power of words - especially His Father's words. God spoke and the universe came into existence. The Book of Proverbs teaches us that there is "life and death in the power of the tongue" (Proverbs 18:21a NKJV). Words can bring encouragement or despair...pain or hope...division or unity. 

 

How we choose to use our words matters. It mattered to Jesus - a LOT. He knew that what the Father commanded brought life. Not just any life, but eternal life. Life that doesn't end with death on Earth but carries on into the next life too. Jesus knew the power of the Father's words, and chose to only say what he had heard the Father speak. Jesus, like His Father, only wanted to bring words of life that penetrated beyond this world but carried hope and transformation into eternity also.

 

Jesus wanted to speak words of life - eternal life - just like His Father. 

 

The words that we say matter. Our world can lift someone up and bring life....or tear them down and bring deep pain. More than just saying a kind word that lasts but a moment and puffs up someone's ego, why not choose to say an encouraging word from the heart that will stay with a person for all their days and help transform them eternally?

 

Flattery lasts a moment. Encouragement lasts a lifetime. 

 

What words of life to do say to people you meet? Do your words reflect the eternal life you've been given through Christ?

 

3. The Son only lives to complete the Father's will

"I glorified you on earth by completing the task you gave me to do."
John 17:4 (ISV)

 

"Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me. Yet not my will but yours be done."

- Luke 22:42 (ISV)

 

Jesus lives to please His Father. He does this by submitting to His Father's will....and by doing so, completed the task that the Father had required him to do. Jesus did this in spite of incredibly challenging personal circumstances. In the Garden of Gethsemane in Luke 22 we see a very personal insight into the struggle Jesus had between following God's will... and the knowledge of the sacrifice, torture and death that would be required of him to complete this work. Jesus knew it was "for this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth" (John 18:37 ESV). This truth was to ultimately cost him his life. But this truth also raised him up from death!

 

Jesus lives to please His Father. 

 

God knows us intimately. He created us. He designed us. He formed us. And He chose the exact time, place and family situation to place us into here on Earth so that we had the very best opportunity to complete all that He intended us to do, and to be all that He wanted us to be. 

 

There is a battle inside all of us when it comes to completing the tasks God has set before us. This struggle becomes real when we hit a fork in the road between completing the task through submitting to God's will...or through doing completing the task in our own way and in our own time. One way is scary because we are not in control and often have to take a leap of faith into the unknown - not knowing if it will work out. The other way gives us total control to pick and choose what we do and the steps to complete it. One way depends on God...the other way depends on us.

 

But if you are a Christ-follower, there is only one way that God asks us to go - the way that involved total surrender to His purpose, plan and will. This is the way that Jesus chose. 

 

Jesus chose to surrender his own will go God and follow what God had in store for him. 

 

To chose to follow God's will for our life is to desire to complete the tasks God has planned for us more than we desire to do what we want. This necessitates the need to say, "I surrender it all" to the Father knowing that He has our very best interests at heart for our life. 

 

Do you want to complete the tasks God had purposely and deliberately chose for you? Are you prepared to sacrifice and surrender your own will to see God's will come about in your life? 
 

I love being a father. It brings me great joy to see my son Zion learn from me and follow my example, especially when it comes to character that resembles Christ. When I look at Zion and feel the joy inside my heart well up when he tries to imitate me, I can only imagine the joy in our Heavenly Father's heart as we seek to imitate Jesus' example. 

 

But just as much as I see Zion learning from my example, I know that I need to be learning from father figures in my life that help lead and guide me to be more like Christ in my own life. The Apostle Paul calls us "to imitate me as I also imitate Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:1 NKJV).

 

No matter who you are or what your Earthly family situation might be, I pray that you can find a "father" (or "fathers") in your life to help lead and guide you to develop the character you would be proud to pass down to your children. And most of all, I pray that you would learn and experience the grace and love that your Heavenly Father has for you. It is unconditional, unchanging, and always available. 

 

Happy Father's Day!

Published by Jeremy Thiess