Posted December 14, 2017 under Blog

His Season: Jesus Christ, Everlasting Father

In 19th century America, contaminated water supply caused the deaths of tens of thousands from typhoid fever and diarrheal disease. As one writer put it, “drinking the water from any major city was a pretty good way to die.”1 It wasn’t until a medical doctor bravely took the risk of adding chlorine as a disinfectant—in an amount that’s enough to kill all the germs in the water supply without causing adverse effects to humans. His method faced enormous opposition but paved way for safe drinking water to become available in American cities. A strategy that was then applied in cities all over the world.

In 1908, John Leal, a medical doctor and former public health officer began working as a sanitary consultant for the privately-held firm Jersey City Water Supply Company (JCWSC). Like any major city, Jersey City’s water supply was causing thousands of deaths, as there were a lot of diseases purveying in the waterways of New Jersey. Leal himself was witness to the gruesome death of his father caused by contaminated water supply.

JCWSC was tasked to provide clean water supply to the people of Paterson, but was sued by the city for failing to do so as it turned out that the reservoir of water they built still contain cholera and typhoid bacteria. They were given 90 days to solve the problem. Leal, knowing of earlier tests done in Germany and England where chlorine was used as a disinfectant in water, and with his medical knowledge, took his chance by adding chlorine into its water treatment plants at 0.3 parts per million gallon.

Public opposition was intense, but the courts vindicated his approach and allowed JCWSC to continue with its method. Typhoid fever death rates plummeted and children under one year of age stopped dying by the thousands2 after Leal used chlorine to provide clean water.

One noble thing that he did is not to patent his approach, but rather allow it to be known and used by everyone.

Leal’s father’s heart—the desire to express compassion for those who are dying and sick enabled him to be a blessing to millions in his time, and generations more after that.

What Leal showcased is one of devotion not only to his work but to the people he served. Selfless, generous, and kind. It was a gesture that saved millions, and continue to do so to this day.

It’s a picture of what a father’s heart can do—the impact it can make. And it’s but a tinge of Christ’s heart toward us—that of an Everlasting Father.

The Power of an Everlasting Father’s Heart

Matthew 7:7-12 characterizes the Father’s heart. In this passage, Jesus describes how our heavenly Father, is willing and able to reach out and bless us when we ask. He compares how an earthly father, when responding to his child’s request will do everything to fulfill it, and expounds “how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him.”

This very embodiment and love of the Father is also found in Christ. In Isaiah 9:6 it puts emphasis on the government being on Christ's shoulders, revealing to us the power and might of Christ.

In the end of Malachi, the last two verses of the Old Testament, it foretells the arrival of Jesus who will “turn the hearts of the Fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers” (see Malachi 4:6 in New King James Version).

What these verses signify is the transformative power of a father’s heart. And not only is Christ, a Wonderful Counselor, and a Mighty God, He is also an Everlasting Father.

A Father who is willing and able. A Father whose shoulders can carry not just the weight and sorrow of your personal problems, but even that of the world. A Father who longs to embrace you and love on you.

Unlike our earthly fathers, whose ability to care and nurture us is limited by time, distance, and other earthly variables, Christ’s Fatherly heart to us never ceases.

Because the love He is able to give to you and to me is unending.

As Lamentations 3:22-23 (English Standard Version) reminds us:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
   his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
   great is your faithfulness.

Affirmed, Chosen, and Blessed

The blessing of Christ being an Everlasting Father could only be fully experienced when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior.

When we recognize the Lord Jesus Christ, who came down to earth for you and for me, confess our sins to Him, and acknowledge that He is the only way, truth, and life—our blind scales will fall and His promise of sonship and daughtership to us is made real.

We then become part of a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession (see 1 Peter 2:9).

By acknowledging Jesus is Lord, we are affirmed, chosen, and blessed. By recognizing Him and bowing down to His Name, we receive the blessing of Someone who loves us deeply and as Psalm 136 repeatedly heralds, whose love for us never fails.

Christ, as the Everlasting Father is a picture of a God who became man, reaching down to us so that we can live a life where we know we belong to a family. Where we can be sure that we are not rejected, because in Christ we are loved and accepted; where we can have the guarantee that His plans for us are to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us a hope and a future (see Jeremiah 29:11).

This is the kind of love that our Everlasting Father displays to us. A love that can remove our transgressions as far as the east is from the west. A love that allows us to experience His Presence in our lives. A love that allows us to know His good, pleasing, and perfect will.



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