“Abba” was the family word for “Father” used by the Jews of Jesus’ day. It is the same as the word “daddy” in English. It was the word that Paul himself used for his own natural father, and it was the word that Jesus used for His Heavenly Father.
“Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. ‘Abba, Father,’ he said, ‘everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will’” Mark 14:35-36.
The depth of the relationship that Jesus had with His Father has now been opened up to us through the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of God’s Son (read Hebrews 2:10-15).
“For through him [Jesus] we both have access to the Father by one Spirit” Ephesians 2:18 (see also Matthew 10:20; John 20:17).
Through the Holy Spirit, our lives have been linked with the life of God’s Son. The two verses – Romans 8:15 and Galatians 4:6 – show this link:
Romans 8:15 — By the Spirit we cry, ‘Abba, Father’
Galatians 4:6 — Through us, the Spirit of the Son (Jesus) cries, ‘Abba, Father’
We have been included in the very relationship that Jesus has with His Father! Not only have we been linked with Christ’s death and burial (Romans 6:3-6), we continue to be linked with Him now! (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 3:1-4).
“Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ” Romans 8:17.
Not only are we sons, but we are also heirs of God (Gal.4:7). But more than that, we are heirs alongside Jesus – linked with God’s Son even in His inheritance! (Colossians 3:1-4).
The inheritance of Jesus, because of who He is, includes:
- A name superior to every other (Heb.1:4; Phil.2:8-10).
- Everything in heaven and on earth (Colossians 1:15-20).
- The kingdom (Matthew 25:34; Luke 22:29; James 2:5).
- Us (1 Kings 8:51,53; 1 Peter 2:9-10; Titus 2:14; Eph.1:18).
Because we are co-heirs with Jesus, our inheritance involves:
- The name of Jesus (John 14:13-14; 16:24; Rev.3:12.)
- Everything in heaven and on earth (Ephesians 1:22).
- The kingdom (Matt.25:34; Luke 22:29; Col.1:12).
- The Lord Himself (Psalm 16:5; 73:26).
Read Luke 15:11-32. This is not really the “parable of the prodigal son”, but the “parable of two sons”. The father divided his inheritance between both sons, with a double-portion for the elder (Deut.21:15-17). The way that both sons used their inheritance revealed each one’s misconception of sonship. While the younger son took the inheritance for himself, the older son ignored his inheritance. Both left the presence of their father (even though the older brother never left home), for while the younger brother joined himself to foreigners (the world), the older brother joined himself to the slaves. Both saw their inheritance as separate from relationship.
Both sons were equally wrong. Both were self-centered and missed out on a true father-son relationship. But whereas the younger son repented, the older son failed to see his fault. In the parable, the father’s response to his older brother shows the true meaning of sonship:
- “You are always with me” – Relationship
- “Everything I have is yours” – Heirship
As Christians, we have been “born again into a living hope” (1 Peter 1:3). God has a goal for His children, that we will grow up to become mature sons – like Jesus, the Son (Rom.8:29,21).
“Dear friends, now we are the children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when [Jesus] appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” 1 John 3:2 (read also verse 3).