Today's Devotion: August 30-31
Five Words to Live By: Father
In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.
English “father” was vader in Dutch, fadēr in early German, vater in later German, and fader in Middle English. And all those words were built on Latin pater, which was very close to Greek patēr. But all those Western spellings were a radical departure from Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke. He would have pronounced “father” as abba, derived from Hebrew ab.
In fact, Jesus’ use of “father” represented a major shift in how the Hebrews used the term—almost exclusively to refer to human fathers. God was rarely called Father by the Jews (Isaiah 63:16; 64:8; Jeremiah 31:9; Malachi 2:10), but Jesus called God “Father” (Abba—Matthew 11:26) and taught His disciples to do the same (Matthew 6:9). But this was not the formal, Victorian “father” of the English language. This was the abba of the Hebrew family unit—the “papa” or “daddy” used by children the world over today (Mark 14:36). Jesus introduced a new way to relate to God—a familial way of fondness and closeness.
However you view and address your earthly father, feel free to address your heavenly Father the way Jesus did—as Abba Father.
The name Jehovah carries majesty in it; the name Father carries mercy in it.