Abba, Father.

"And He said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto Thee; take away this cup from Me: nevertheless, not what I will, but what Thou wilt," Mark 14:36.

In the different accounts of our blessed Lord's prayer and anguish in the garden, Mark alone uses the words Abba, Father. Abba is a Syriac word signifying Father, but in a way of peculiar affection and confidence. In that wonderful prayer of John 17, the Lord uses the word Father six times, two of which have the additional adjectives of Holy, and Righteous. But the word Abba is not found there. In John 11 and 12 we again find our Lord addressing His Father, and there again He uses the simple word Father. Thus, only once is it recorded that the Lord Jesus adds this word Abba to the well-loved name of Father. On searching through the New Testament, we find that only twice more is the word Abba used, and on each occasion with the wonderfully expressive term Father following it. These are found in Rom. 8 and Gal. 4; but, wonderful thought, it is no more our blessed Lord Jesus Who uses this term of intimacy, but those who have been redeemed by His precious blood. It is those who have received the adoption of sons. "Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father" (Gal. 4:6.); "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father" (Rom. 8:14-15). How marvellous is the grace of God! In the first chapter of John's Gospel we read, "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power (or right), to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name." Again, in I John 3:1, the Apostle writes: "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God: … beloved, now are we the sons of God." Thus we see poor sin-stained sinners, dead in trespasses and sins, washed in the precious blood of Christ, quickened together with Him, made the sons of God by adoption, and brought into the innermost circle of His love, and free to use the self-same title of intimate affection employed by His own beloved Son when in this world. "How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them!" (Ps. 139:17). Well may our adoring hearts repeat, again and again, these blessed words: "GOD IS LOVE."
G. F. Barlee.