The Father of Compassion
In any nation rife with absentee fathers, many children need to be introduced to the “Father of Compassion”. Children unexposed to a father of compassion don’t know what it is like to have a strong male leader in the family firstly sensitive to his own failings and weakness and then sensitive to the failings and weaknesses of his family members. Initially, let’s consider what an absentee father may look like before exposing the best example of the most compassionate Father who can be depended upon by anyone.
King David in the Bible is a prime example of the absentee father. Prior to his being inaugurated as king of Israel but after it had been foretold that he would someday be king, he had an enemy in his predecessor, King Saul. Some may consider King David an absentee father by character fault. I don’t so much see him that way but rather he was a victim of his circumstances and his family suffered from his being away from him. Prior to his becoming king, David had to flee for his life and be away from his family for very lengthy periods of time. Also, once he became king, David’s lack of presence with his family was partly being due to his being a warrior king for his beloved nation Israel. Uniquely as king, David had to be dedicated to his role as king to protect the whole nation which his family was part of.
Some Characteristics of a Human Compassionate Father
Presence, mirroring omnipresence (always there)
I’d say the most outstanding characteristic of a compassionate father is presence which is a thing King David lacked for His family. Before a child is even aware of who their father is, a compassionate father recognizes not just the susceptibility of his children to dangers but also that of his wife if he has one. King David had to the duty to protect more than his family and needed to delegate the role of primary caregiver to his wives (he ultimately had more than one). Fathers have a unique role in the family not to be replaced by mothers or any other “surrogate” father when possible.
Dependability, mirroring omnipotence (all-powerful)
Dependability in a man is indicative of a man being capable of handling things that come his way. Often children have an idealized image of the dependability, hence, capability of their dads. Have you ever heard the adage, “My dad is bigger than your dad!”, spoken by a child that may have an overly confident belief in his dad?
David was a very successful warrior king to Israel’s enemies, but he had the famous moral failing of having an affair with a married woman, Bathsheba, whose husband he had positioned strategically in battle so he would be murdered. David failed in his guarding all his soldiers from harm to the best of his ability and his positioning Uriah in battle to be murdered tells of how King David failed in his dependability.
Fatherly Love, mirroring omniscience (all-knowing)
Genesis 1:1 in the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible it says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” By God being all-knowing, He exercised His power when creating the heavens and the earth. God also created mankind. God knows that which He created and in 1 John 3:20 of Christians it says, “If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and knows everything.” Though King David’s family ultimately was devastated by His sin and he in his heart in Psalm 52 spells out how he came to terms with it and God’s judgement of it, David expressed how He saw God as compassionate and merciful. How wonderful!
God as the Most Compassionate Father
Unlike a human father, God is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent to perfection. He not only knows of but understands the weaknesses and failings of his family, his creation. In Romans 5:6 in the New International Version (NIV), it says: “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” God our Father recognizes sin in us as He can identify weakness; He knows we are but just man. Sin makes us powerless and people without Christ are lost in sin. They are in darkness. Christ, being half human by birth to Mary his mother, knows what it is like to be weak in the flesh by temptation and otherwise, yet, by the Spirit of God, Jesus was without sin due to His miraculous conception. Jesus Christ knew what it is like to be tempted but never sinned. Christ had and still has power over sin and in fact, frees His believing followers of it. I was once lost in sin but now I have been redeemed! I’ve been bought back from sin’s clutches and my sin has been paid for. I’m not in debt like I was to sin and Satan’s biding.
What does Jesus Christ have to do with a Father’s love though? Everything! What good father wouldn’t die for his children should his children be in threat of death? God loved humanity so much that He was even willing to sacrifice His Son for us while we were still sinners! In Romans 5:7 (NIV) it says, “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” That’s love! Even better, Jesus was God’s only fully holy Son. There was no back-up!
When I think of how Jesus was like the Father in being omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent, I think of how in Hebrews 1:3 (NIV) it says, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” I also think of how Jesus identified Nathanael while he sat under a fig tree while Jesus was not present with him physically. In John 1:43-50 (NIV) it says:
“The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. Philip found Nathanael and told him, ‘We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.’ ‘Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?’ Nathanael asked. ‘Come and see,’ said Philip. When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, ‘Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.’ ‘How do you know me?’ Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, ‘I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.’ Then Nathanael declared, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.’ Jesus said, ‘You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.’ He then added, ‘Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man’.”
By identifying Nathaniel (a man to be a disciple of Jesus) under the fig tree while He was not with him, Jesus proved Himself to be omniscient and omnipresent; Jesus saw Nathaniel while he was under the fig tree and therefore, Jesus knew of Nathaniel being there and was present with him even though not physically.
Further, Jesus showed himself as being omnipotent by the performance of miracles with the most profound probably being his raising of Lazarus from the dead. Jesus even said in His encounter with Nathaniel, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that. He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” In John 14:5-6 it’s written about another of His disciples, Thomas (who later doubted Jesus’ resurrection):
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
Clearly, Jesus is the way to the Father because He was the exact representation of the Father during his life on earth. Also, Jesus has all authority in heaven and earth because it was given him by the Father.
What about you?
In John 12:44 (NIV) it says:
Then Jesus cried out, “Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me. I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” Are you still in darkness?
Can’t you see the “Father of Compassion” in Jesus? Would you like Jesus to remove your sin from you so it will not be counted against you by God? If you want to identify how to receive Jesus and accept Him as Savior and Lord (the only one to truly listen to in your life for obedience purposes) click here.