GodSpeak for the Week of April 15
“What’s In [His] Name?” – Abba
We continue, this week, borrowing from Juliet’s line in “Romeo & Juliet”: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other word, would smell as sweet.”
We have usually taken Juliet’s words to mean that the name of something doesn’t really affect its essence; Romeo, by any other name, would still be her beloved (especially, as he comes from the sworn enemy of Juliet’s family).
But, the names God and Jesus have given us for themselves carry tremendous meaning.
This week, we consider the word “Abba,” which – contrary to our usual, 1970’s Swedish pop band recollection – has profound meaning to our faith.
Read Mark 14:35-36
- Consider this – the word “Abba” (or, “Father”) is used some 245 times in the New Testament versus only 15 times in the Old Testament. Abba is actually an Aramaic word (i.e., the local language Jesus spoke), instead of the Greek word “pater” (which means, “Father”).
- Consider this – whenever the word “Abba” appears in the New Testament, the Greek word “pater” appears next to it.
- Why would the writers of the New Testament do this?
Read Mark 14:35-36, again.
- Answer this – by what kind of tone is Jesus praying to the Abba/Father?
- Answer this – by what kind of tone is the Abba/Father treating His Son?
Read Hebrews 12:4-6
- Consider this – the writer describes this passage as a “word of encouragement.”
- Answer this – how are vv. 5 & 6 to be taken as encouragement, like that from a father to his son? What’s encouraging about these words?
Read Hebrews 12:7
- Consider this – the writer calls for us to “Endure hardship as discipline…”
- Answer this – how can our hardships be truly understood as loving discipline from our Heavenly Father/Abba? What examples could rightly fit what our God is calling for, here?
Read Hebrews 12:8-9
- Answer this – what does the writer mean by not being “legitimate” sons and daughters of God, if we are not disciplined by Him?
Read Hebrews 12:8-9, again.
- Consider this – the writer suggests that, because we have all had earthly fathers who have disciplined us, we have ultimately respected them for it.
- Answer this – if your earthly father was alive during your childhood, what way of disciplining you showed his love, his wisdom and his concern for your well-being?
- Answer this – for those whose earthly father was not alive or around during childhood, how did/through whom did the Heavenly Father provide the loving discipline necessary for you to grow and thrive?