My granddaughter turns seventeen today, but I remember when she was still sleeping in her crib. On one of my visits from Texas, my son, Jonathan, made up Papa’s bed in her room. Suddenly, in the middle of the night I heard this blood curdling, “Baba, Baba.” Wide awake, I watched her daddy come rushing into the room. My granddaughter had had a bad dream and she knew a call for her daddy was just the help that was needed in the terrors of the night.
“Daddy” in Arabic is “Baba.” It’s only a small step from the Arabic back to first-century Aramaic, and the Apostle Paul wants us to know that through our faith in Jesus, the fact that he redeemed us through his cross, we don’t have to wait till we have a bad dream. Jesus’ Spirit living within moves us to address God as “Baba” whenever we talk to him.
“But when the fullness of time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the Law. He sent him to redeem those under the Law so that we might receive the full rights of being legally adopted children ... And because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts crying ‘Abba, Father.’ So, you are no longer a slave, but a son, an heir through God.” Galatians 4:4-7
With all this stress on God as father and the fact that we can claim Abraham as our father we would expect Paul to keeping stressing this fatherhood theme. Instead he directs our attention to the fact that Jesus was born of a woman. Like Matthew and Luke, the Apostle doesn’t’ want us to forget the importance of the virgin birth. Jesus did fulfill the promise of Isaiah 7 that a virgin would give birth to a son and his name would be “Immanuel,” “God with us.” His mother was Jewish. He was born under the Law and he died cursed by the Law, not for his own guilt, but for ours. Now the Spirit of God moves all who simply put their faith in Jesus to cry out, “Baba, Baba,” not only with the fright of a bad dream, but with the wonder that we have become joint heirs with Jesus.
LORD, you are the mighty, everlasting King of Kings and Lord of Lords, but I’m so thankful that I can call you me ‘Baba’ because Jesus has torn down all the curtains that separate us from intimacy with you.
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