Whoever realizes their origin in God immediately recognizes the language of God; you do not make that connection since you don’t realize your true origin in God!Joh 8:47 MIR
The traditional translation of this verse implies separation:
Whoever belongs to God listens to what God says; the reason you don’t listen is that you don’t belong to God.Joh 8:47 CJB
Anyone reading this translation immediately divides humanity into two camps: those who are of God and those who are not.
A very human image of a father. What do I mean by that?
Nobody will contradict when I say that, according to the Bible, God created man.
From that follows quite directly that God is the Father of humanity. Jesus confirms that to us too.
In order not to be the father of a person anymore, God would have to abandon his child.
We humans have come further than that: of course a human father can abandon his children. Inheritance laws and paternity tests, however, force him to at least partially fulfill his duties anyway.
Paternity cannot be terminated. And if God did that, he would be morally no better, even worse than us humans.
This is why I like the translation I chose as the basis for today’s article so much.
We are convinced that we don’t want to be or cannot be God’s children. As in the parable of the prodigal son, we believe
- that we need to be free,
- that we are no longer worthy of being called a child of the father,
- or never have accepted that we are a child in the first place and have worked like a servant.
This whole kinship thing takes place in our head. From God’s point of view, nothing has ever changed.
The verse puts it beautifully:
As soon as we become aware that we are indeed children of God, even substance of His substance, we understand.
As long as we are not aware of it, we are trying at most to measure up enough to be adopted. We even use the phrase to say what happens when we are converted. God adopts us. He adopts us, someone else’s children, and calls us his children.
That, however, would be a lie of the most perfidious kind. God would portray it as if he were not our biological father, with the result that we would never feel completely safe and that he could manipulate us through our obligation of gratitude. Would he ever do that? Of course not. Would we ever be sure of that? Probably not.
If we then, after he adopted us, become aware that he created us, in the sense that he is our “biological” father, we would always have to expect that he will repudiate and abandon us again. What he did once, he can do again. He’s not changing.
As a result, we feel that we have to perform in order to be sure of the relationship. To have to buy love through obedience.
But a father does not ask for performance for his love. A father also knows that paternity cannot be terminated.
If we are not aware that our origin lies in God, we cannot love ourselves either. Our fear is too great that the behavior of the person we then have to call our “biological” father will break through again in us. And who but God could be our father? There are only two options: the devil and sin.
Jesus himself calls the pharisees children of the devil. He speaks to their identification, their own belief. They see themselves that way, trying to gain God’s love through obedience to the law and work.
I myself have lived through times in my life when I was afraid of becoming like my father.
We express this fear in our proverbs, some of which are biblically motivated. At least in German we say: “Whose spirit child is this person”, and, “who was the father of thought”.
We have, had and will always have only one Father: God the Creator.
We begin our lives in union with this Creator, but we are not aware of it.
God gives us our consciousness and we lose this unity. Because we learn that we are apparently separated: there are things and other people, and those people have their own will and independent action.
Our life is now a journey of becoming aware. Our goal is to become aware of the fact that we have our origin in God, yes that we are part of this origin. Our goal is to become aware that we are God because there is no separation.
Of course I don’t mean in the humanistic sense that we are our own gods as individuals. I mean that in a holistic sense: there is no me and you, there is only us in the me.
In the spirit of constructivism, the journey there is an interplay of internal and external influences.
We are born with some basic skills to respond to our environment. This environment interacts with us, reacts to our actions, and teaches us further skills, which lead more and more to abstractions.
If we want to teach children to clean up their room, we start with what they can do: they know what a teddy bear is. They also knows that you can put the teddy bear in a rack.
Next we’ll teach him to toss the Lego in a box.
And the more such actions we teach them, with the corresponding positive feedback, the sooner they will understand what “tidy up” means. An abstract principle is anchored as a common characteristic of several activities in interaction with its environment.
This is exactly how God treats us. As humanity, we learn what it means to be God through our interaction with our environment, one another, and God himself.
From a certain point in time we can even participate actively, self-motivated and self-determined in this learning process. It is no longer just instincts, such as the desire for reward, and external circumstances that drive us forward.
The extrinsic motivation, the external law on stone tablets, and intrinsic, intuitive and drive-controlled motivation turn into decision-making, planning, thirst for knowledge and curiosity.
Although we have always worked on our development, i.e. are not just the product of our environment, and although our environment has always played a formative role in our development, i.e. we not only create our world, at this point we become an emancipated counterpart for them, with God and the spirit living within us, and participate in our own development.
Until the time comes when we become aware that our origin lies in God. Then we recognize the plan, God’s loving wooing, God’s investment in us as a father.
In that moment we realize that nothing could or could ever separate us from him. It was just in our head.