Thursday, May 29, 2014

Abba, Father

Encouragement for your daily walk with God

While the New Testament was written mostly in Greek, Jesus spoke the everyday language of the people, Aramaic. So instead of saying “Pater” (in Greek) for “Father,” Jesus would say “Abba” (in Aramaic). Interestingly, in Mark’s Gospel, we read both the Greek and Aramaic for “Father” when Jesus prayed, “Abba ho Pater,” [literally: Abba, the Father], in Gethsemane.

When faced with the enormity of suffering for our sins, in agony He cried out, “Abba, Father,” to see if it was possible to take that responsibility from Him. I think it was Mark’s way of portraying the agony of Jesus as well as His intimacy with God, His Father.

Paul used “Abba ho Pater” too, in Romans 8 and Galatians 4. In the Roman passage, he used both words to show that because we are the adopted children of God, we must act like children of God.

Some people mistakenly say that Abba suggests that we call God, “Papa,” or “Daddy.” But in the days of our Lord, that was not the case. Everyone, from little children to adults, used Abba for “Father.” And we can follow Christ’s example when we cry out to “Abba, Father” to express our intimacy with God. For Jesus, and for us, “Abba, Father” is prayer language. In prayer, we enter the very presence of God, submitting ourselves to His will, all the while knowing that He cares for us and knows us intimately. Therefore, we can say, as Jesus said, “Not my will, but yours, Father.”

“Abba, Father.” Let your intimacy with God fill your heart for the challenges you face today.

...but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, [Abba ho Pater] “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15


  1. It still amazes me how we can enter the very presence of God when we spend time in prayer. He has inclined his ear to me......