The Praise of the Father

Manila Bulletin, July 13, 2010 | Go to article overview

The Praise of the Father


MATTHEW 11:25-27

On one occasion, Jesus said, "I give praise to You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although You have hidden these things from the wise and the learned You have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been Your gracious will. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal Him."

God's favorites

"Patron" or "godfather" may sound irreverent when applied to God because of The Godfather movies, but in the patron-client systems of the Mediterranean world in Jesus' time, God is considered as the ultimate Patron.

Patrons are powerful individuals who control resources and are expected to use their positions to hand out favors to inferiors. They are benefactors who are expected to support a city, village, or client. Clients, on the other hand, are those dependent upon the largesse of patrons in order to survive well in their society. In return for the favor, they show loyalty to the patrons and publicly acknowledge the honor of their benefactors.

Relationships and the giving of resources are mediated by brokers. Under imperial Rome, major public officials often act as brokers of imperial resources.

In the religious sphere, God is the patron because, in the words of Jesus, He is "Lord of heaven and earth. …

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