In last weekend’s message, Pastor Lin Jun Xian taught that the ministry of Jesus revolved around revealing God as a Father who loves with fierce loyalty.
“In the Gospels, everything Jesus did was to demonstrate the Kingdom of God—He came to declare that the Kingdom of God is here,” revealed Lin Jun Xian, associate pastor of City Harvest Church, as he opened his message on the weekend of Oct 9 and 10.
In Acts 2:35, Peter declared the works that Jesus had done in His earthly ministry. “Within this verse, Jesus is mentioned just like a superhero,” Pastor Jun Xian pointed out. “Actually, He was one because He carried supernatural power. This is the ministry of Jesus. Everywhere He went, healing, deliverance, signs and wonders took place.”
The Gospel of John gives Christians an inside look into the ministry of Jesus. In John 17:3 and 6, Jesus said that He wanted His disciples to know God and manifest His name in everything they do. Pastor Jun Xian preached that the name Jesus wanted to reveal to them was that of God the Father.
“Jesus wanted to remind His disciples and us that His ultimate mission through His ministry was to reveal God as our Heavenly Father,” the pastor continued. In Hebrews 1:3, Jesus is called the “express image of His person”. If one wants to know what God the Father is like, all one needs to do is to look at Jesus.
God is Spirit and no one can see Him. Therefore, when Jesus appeared in human flesh, God could now be seen. Jesus is the full expression of God in His nature, character and image.
Pastor Jun Xian expounded on two truths in the rest of his sermon.
ONE: JESUS CAME TO REVEAL THE FATHER
Matthew 6:9 (MSG) reads, “with a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this: Our Father in heaven, reveal who you are”. Jesus wanted the disciples to approach God not just as Jehovah and all the other names they already knew, He also wanted them to approach Him as the Father. This was a breakthrough thought for all the disciples.
“Jesus longed to reveal God as a loving and intimate God,” said the pastor. “More than just being workers in His kingdom, God wants us to be His sons and daughters. More than His works, God wants to show us His heart.”
Mark 10:46-47 tells the story of a blind man called Bartimaeus. In Aramaic, the name “Bartimaeus” means “son of uncleanness”. In those days, many believed that the reason for Bartimaeus’ blindness was the sins of his father. Not only did he grow up without vision, he also had to carry the shame through his name.
In verses 49 to 51, Jesus asked Bartimaeus what He could do for him. Pastor Jun Xian noted that when Jesus asked this question, He simply wanted to know what was in Bartimaeus’ heart, in the same way that a father would ask his son.
He went on to reveal that Jesus opened the eyes of blind Bartimaeus not because he wanted to demonstrate God’s power. Instead, it was a father-son moment in which Jesus could reveal what a good father would do for his son.
“He wanted the people to know that God wasn’t only able, but He was willing,” Pastor Jun Xian expounded. God restored Bartimaeus’ vision and dignity in life, and the story of Bartimaeus ended with him becoming a follower of Jesus Christ. He was no longer an outcast and a beggar; God had given him a new vision and new dignity in life.
The pastor shared the story of Johnny Chin, his classmate at the School of Theology. Even though Johnny grew up in a Christian family, he fell into bad company at age 13 and joined gangs. He was addicted to drugs for the next 20 years. When his mother passed away from cancer, Johnny decided to clean up his act.
He checked himself into a halfway house, The New Charis Mission, and like blind Bartimaeus, he cried out to God. The love of God came upon Johnny and set him free from his drug addiction. Today, Johnny is happily married and is currently pursuing a degree in theology.
Reading the story of Jesus forgiving the adulterous woman in John 8:3-11, Pastor Jun Xian explained that story demonstrated what a good Father would do. “Jesus stood up for her, He protected her, He covered her, and He forgave her,” he pointed out. “Instead of judging her, Jesus forgave her. He lowered Himself like a father would and said, ‘It’s okay, go and sin no more.’”
Like a good Father, Jesus is always looking out for His believers. He wants them to have healthy self-esteem because they are created in His image. He cares about their desires and does His best to make them come true.
Sadly, many Christians do not see God as a good Father. They often project the image of their earthly father onto Him. Pastor Jun Xian shared that that was what he did as a young Christian. He thought that God, like his earthly father, was too busy to be interested in his life.
One day he met an intercessor who prayed for him saying, “God has time for you, and He is interested in things in your life.” That healed Pastor Jun Xian’s heart and renewed his relationship with God.
TWO: JESUS SENDS US TO REVEAL THE FATHER
Winning the lost, doing good and preaching the gospel are not church activities. “The Gospel is given to us to reveal who the Father is (Jn 20:21),” Pastor Jun Xian elaborated. “How do we reveal God the Father to the people around us? When we are like Jesus!”
God wants Christians to represent Him as His sons and daughters and not as His workers or servants, “because only sons and daughters grow up to be like their Father,” he noted. To be Christlike is to be like Jesus and do what He would do.
WWJD is a well-known acronym among Christians, and it stands for “What Would Jesus Do”. If a Christian wishes to know how to care for others like the Father, he should look at how Jesus cares and ministers to others—He visited, prayed, delivered, healed and fed them.
“Before we can reveal the Father, we first need to know who He is because we can only reveal Who we know,” the pastor pointed out.
The 10 Commandments that God gave to Moses in Exodus was a sign of love and commitment of God’s covenant to His people. However, while Moses was away receiving the tablets from God, the Israelites busied themselves worshipping the golden calf and committing idolatry. Out of anger, Moses broke the two tablets that God gave Him.
God was not angry with Moses when he did that. He simply asked Moses to go up to Mount Sinai and gave him a second set. God giving Moses the second set was to reaffirm His covenant with His people. God reintroduced Himself revealing that He was merciful, gracious, long-suffering and abounding in goodness and truth (Exo 34:6).
In Hebrew, the word “abounding” is hesed. There is no direct English translation for this word as it is both a noun and a verb, but it is best defined as a loyal love. “In other words, God is abounding towards us in loyal love,” the pastor explained. “He loves us with a fierce loyalty. He is totally committed and devoted, always looking out for our best interest.”
Pastor Jun Xian experienced how God feels for His children when he almost lost his daughter out at sea once. He recalled how he panicked when he lost sight of his daughter and frantically swam towards her. In that moment, he felt God’s desperation to reach His children when they fall into the sea of sin and brokenness.
God’s abounding love was fully expressed in Jesus Christ (Jn 1:14, 18). His love towards His children is fiercely loyal. It forgives, redeems, protects, and restores. It is unchanging because God is love and He cannot deny Himself.
In conclusion, Pastor Jun Xian told the church that God is sending them out to reveal the Father as they volunteer with the Church Without Wall initiatives. He emphasised that God is not looking for more workers—He is looking for sons and daughters who are like the Father.