In The Widow’s Oil, our last article about discipleship, I said that Jesus revealed The Holy Trinity when He said, “I Am The True Vine and My Father Is The Vinedresser.” I only hinted at the explanation which will be completed in this article. Now as I write, I will often say sons which means sons and daughters. But I remain with sons because Jesus Is The Son of God. Now this article is little long. But if God Gives you insight into Himself, then you will perceive how short it is.
“I Am The True Vine and My Father is the Vinedresser.” So many Names Eternally robed in that single Name, “My Father”. It is tempting to think that “father” is a role and not a name. But this is not true. Father is a name. Many cultures properly capture this. As an adult, I still call my father daddy. Even in my dreams, I only call him daddy. Daddy is the name he received from me when he and my mother gave birth to me. On the day when my mother became pregnant, his identity was forever transformed. Through my mother’s pregnancy, Michael Eleyinafe entered into the womb and over the course of 9 months he grew into my father. By cleaving to my mother, he planted his name, his very being, into the soil of marriage and he grew. Like Abram who cleaved to God and grew into Abraham
Now God is not a man. He does NOT grow. Who He Is, He Always Has Been and Will Be. But in times past, through His prophets, God had Revealed Himself as Shaddai(Almighty), Elyon(Most High), Raah(Shepherd). But now through His Son Jesus, we know His Name Father. Now we come to understand that all the other Names by which God had been known and will be known can only flow out of His Name “Father”.
Jesus Is God
God is NOT a man like my father. God did NOT change when Jesus called Him Father. God did NOT change when Jesus was born to Mary. God never changes
But what exactly allows us to designate a father as father and a son as son? The son has lips like his father. The son has hands and feet, a soul and mind but so also does his father. Maybe it is time. Maybe the father is a father because he came first and had a hand in the making of his son? Or maybe because the father, at least at first, is bigger, smarter? than his son? These questions offer a hint as to answer but still don’t make it clear how to tell father from son. This relationship between parent and child is so great a mystery that the Bible says all fathers derive their name from God The Father
How can a babbling child so easily say, “dada” and yet, though we see that the little one is right, we have difficulty explaining the difference between father and son. Let us put into words what we so easily see.
A father and son have a relationship. It is only within the context of their relationship that a father can be told apart from the son. By studying this relationship a little more, we observe that it has three parts which I will call: order, syntax and love.
Now the order within the relationship allows the father to see the son and for the son to see the father. When Ife calls Michael “daddy”, he is declaring that his nature and identity comes from Michael. The son is saying to his father, “I grew out of you.” Similarly, when a father says, “son”, he is saying, “Your identity and nature are growing out of mine.”
This order permeates and gives structure to the entire father-son relationship. Yet this does not mean that the relationship is a frozen statue or a stagnant pond. A good relationship is living and active. Like a mighty rushing river, a good relationship is a constant active conversation. The father speaks and the son responds. The son speaks and the father responds. Therefore, the order that permeates the relationship must also be active. This order in motion is known as syntax.
How can we observe syntax in the father-son relationship? Simple. The son lifts up the father and the father lifts up the son. For the son, syntax means obedience. When his father says, “Eat your peas” or “clean your room”, the son does as he is told. Eventually, the father no longer has to speak. The son begins to speak to himself and to others just as his father would. The words are coming from the son but he is speaking as if he were his father. The son lifts up his father by allowing his father to speak through his voice and act through his hands
From the perspective of the father, syntax means glorification. When his infant boy says, “Waaaa”, the father hears him and maybe changes his diaper or gives him more food or more attention. Later on, the son’s “Waaaa” becomes the more articulate, “Daddy, I need a bike.” And the father gives him the bike. Eventually, the son stops needing tangible things and starts needing confidence and support. On those days the father will say to the son, “You are my son. You can do anything. I believe in you.” It may look like obedience but let us remember the order of the relationship. The son comes from the father. Therefore, the father is NOT obeying the son. The father commits his power and time to ensure that his son is supported and affirmed. The father is lifting up and glorifying his son.
Syntax is order in motion. Syntax takes on the form of obedience or glorification depending on the order. Yet when we look at a father or son, no one mentions order or syntax. Sometimes we observe obedience from the son or doting(glorification) from the father. But more often we comment on how much they love each other. Whenever there is joyful obedience and joyful glorification in any relationship we see love. Here then is the equation for love: love = order + syntax or more accurately, if you are a math nerd, love = syntax(order).
Now you may have heard that love as a feeling or something that cannot be described in words and so on. But this is not so. Love in action is actually quite simple as we have shown above: love = order + syntax. How does the equation work? Well, if you want to love someone, first figure out the order in the relationship. It may vary from moment to moment depending on the relationship. Here is the order in a father-son relationship: the son proceeds from the father. Next, we plug in the order into the syntax to figure out what the son should do and what the father should do. Syntax: the son loves the father by obeying him and the father loves the son by glorifying him. When this is complete, we can truly see love because love = order + syntax [syntax(order)]. This is how Jesus and God The Father Act Towards One Another. In
This equation for love holds for husband-wife relationships as well. I am barely echoing Paul who said, submit to one another ... wives submit to your husbands ... husbands die for your wives
The Holy Spirit Is God
So far, we have learned from
He Is The Spirit, The Power by Whom Jesus was raised from the grave
Let us then abide in the Holy Order and Holy Syntax so that we abide in Holy Love. This is what Jesus tells us in