This Week's Focus Passage

2 Corinthians 1:3 ‘Father of mercies and God of all comfort.’


2 Corinthians 1:3

‘Father of mercies and God of all comfort.’


    And it came to pass, as he was praying in a certain place, that when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, even as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Father, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we ourselves also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And bring us not into temptation.—Luke 11:1-4.

    Among the marginal remarks in our Bibles, we may witness possible emendations primarily flowing from the Matthean parallel passage (Matt. 6:9-15.) The most conspicuous suggestions are ‘carryovers’ from Matthew’s account, such as those that read Our Father, who art in heaven. The footnotes in some Bibles tell us with reference to distinctions between our differing copies of the Scriptures may be attributed to, “Many ancient authorities read, or add,” such and such. Others say, perhaps, that, “Later manuscripts add phrases from Matthew 6:9-13 to make the passages closely similar.” The point is made, in each case, that the variant readings are based upon the use of different manuscripts or authorities. We can collate those differences without doing any harm to the teaching found in the passages from both Matthew and Luke. And our concern for this week is primarily being that Christ has taught us to pray unto Matthew’s Our Father, which is implied in Luke’s Father. 

    Whether it be Father or Our Father, or as in our focus passage, the Father; namely, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort. This God, this Father, is our Father, and our Father is the Father of mercies and God of all comfort. Our God is also surely Our Father who art in heaven. We come in prayer to our Father who is in heaven, and what is the very first petition that Christ would teach us to pray? That we would hallow His name. What does that mean? What is it to ‘hallow His name’? What does ‘hallow’ mean? It is the word, hagiozo, in the Greek; it is translated “Hallowed,” with reference to the name of God the Father in the Lord’s Prayer. The word can mean, ‘to make holy.’ But how could we ever imagine ourselves to be able to make the name of God holy? Do we not read in the Revelation of Jesus Christ given to John on the isle of Patmos, when he saw in vision that number singing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb, as they queried, Who shall not fear, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy? Surely we cannot add anything to God; He is absolutely holy in all His ways and righteous in all His acts. But we see here that we may ‘glorify His name.’ While we cannot make His name holy, yet we can magnify, extol, and praise His name, ascribing honor unto Him; His name. This correlates to the injunction, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy name be magnified, extolled, praised. Again, not that we are able to make God’s name more holy than it already is; we cannot add anything to God or His name. Yet we can, and should, set it apart; that is the meaning, in this case, of hagiozo, it means a ‘setting apart; setting apart from that which is common.’ Jesus prayed, in John 12:28, Father, glorify thy name. Set it apart. Is His name not set apart in the Scriptures? We are reminded of those few places where, through the Spirit of adoption, the children of God through regenerating grace, receive the privilege of crying unto God, Abba, Father. 

How can we even think to call our Father in heaven, ‘Daddy’? Is this not a terrible symptom of the man-centeredness of much that passes as godliness among many churches professing to be saints (set apart ones), with their synergistic gospel proclamation, ‘God has done all He can do; the rest is up to you.’? It is pretended that this is God-honoring; we cannot agree with that tripe. Would you bring God down from heaven to satisfy yourselves? Indeed, God has come down from heaven; in the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ; He is the Son of God, and we are made to become sons of God through the Spirit of adoption. He is our elder Brother, being the firstborn among many brethren. Are there then among any of these folk who would insist upon calling Jesus Christ, ‘Bro’? This is not any hallowing, any setting apart of the name of God when we set apart the name ‘Father’ in favor of ‘Daddy.’ God forbid it! Is this not a manifestation of the spirit of those wicked to whom God spoke in the words of Psalm 50:21; Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself? In the words of evil spirit toward the seven sons of Sceva, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? It is so extremely sad that there are undoubtedly many among those imagining that they are special recipients of a ‘second blessing’ that enables and empowers them to address the Father or the Son in such a manner. Well if they would remember that it is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of adoption; the Spirit of Christ Himself, sent into their hearts whereby they may cry, Abba, Father. If they know Aramaic, let them cry, Abba; but never Daddy. 

It is at least, interesting, to remember that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is referred to by the prophet Isaiah, as, not only by the names, Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace, but also as Everlasting Father. Does it not seem odd to think of Jesus Christ as our Father; our Everlasting Father? John 10:30, however, comes to mind, where Jesus declared to His auditory, those unbelievers among whom He walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch, I and the Father are One. One has written of Isaiah 9:6, Everlasting Father, with these thoughts, “It’s not the Messiah’s role within the Godhead, but the Messiah’s character toward us that Isaiah has in mind.” He may not be correct, but he is helpful. Another wrote in the same vein; that Everlasting Father is, “a descriptive analogy pointing to Christ’s character..

…he is fatherly, father-like, in his treatment of us.”—Samuel Storms. In a well-known hymn, Henry Lyte, in his thoughts of Christ as father-like, penned this: “Father-like, he tends and spares us; Well our feeble frame he knows; In his hands he gently bears us, rescues us from all our foes; Praise him, praise him, Praise him, praise him, Widely as his mercy goes.” Father of mercies and God of all comfort, spoken by Paul of the Father, yet speaks of both mercy and comfort which He has provided in Christ, who is Mercy and Truth met together, and our Comforter until such time as He sent Another Comforter. Our Father in heaven is more than simply, ‘our Father in heaven.’ He is also our Father of all mercies and God of all comfort.

David Farmer, elder

Fellowship Bible Church


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