This is the beginning of a new series on how Jesus related to God. Hope you enjoy it.
My intention is to post a blog on the topic about once each week.
Jesus comes to us through the pages of the New Testament as a Jewish human who saw everything that he did and said as related to the God of Israel who was also God over all nations. From his earliest recorded words—“Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”—to his final dying breath—“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit”—Jesus lived in a trusting relationship with God, who he also knew as Father (Luke 2:49, 23:46).
The “Spirit of God” descended upon Jesus as he was being baptized (Matthew 3:16). Jesus talked about God, and to God, when resisting temptations. He said that he should respond to God just as God had earlier instructed all Jewish people to respond to God (Matt 4:4–10, 26:38–42). He talked about God’s kingdom when challenging others to repent and to follow him (Mark 1:14–17). He taught about God regularly (Mark 12:28–34).
Surely, he was speaking from his own experiences with God when he said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God.” Don’t you think that Jesus was describing his relationship with God when he summarized the Old Testament’s instructions about how to relate to God—” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-39)?
Jesus was still talking to “God” as he took his final breaths before dying (Mark 15:34; Luke 23:46; John 19:30). How else could life be lived by this radically faithful Jewish Son of God?
Jesus claimed to know what God was like. He often began parables with “the Kingdom of Heaven is like . . .” Not only did he trust that he knew what God’s reign on earth looks like, he claimed he knew what he should do by looking and seeing what God was doing and joining in (John 5:19). What a bold claim! If you want to know what God is like, look at what I am doing. What I am doing is a direct reflection of what God is doing.