Abba, Father

In Mark 14:36, Jesus begins to pray to God asking him to remove the cup of his coming death and yet he concludes by saying, “not my will, but yours be done.”

In addressing God, Jesus uses the description “Abba, Father.” “Abba” is Aramaic and was the common language of the day. “Father” is the equivalent meaning of that term. Some think Mark supplied the translation and some think that Jesus said both. Either way, the meaning of these terms are significant, especially at the time Jesus spoke them in prayer. Notice what the ESV Study Bible says about this,

“Abba” in Aramaic, the everyday language spoken by Jesus (cf. Mark 14:36; Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6). It was the word used by Jewish children for their earthly fathers. However, since the term in both Aramaic and Greek was also used by adults to address their fathers, the claim that “Abba” meant “Daddy” is misleading and runs the risk of irreverence. Nevertheless, the idea of praying to God as “Our Father” conveys the authority, warmth, and intimacy of a loving father’s care.”

In prayer, Jesus is expressing his trust in his loving and caring Father and his course of obedience proves it. As he is about to experience beating, torture and crucifixion for us, he proceeds to allow himself to be arrested knowing he is in the loving care of his Father who is sovereign over all things. He lives by faith in the character of his Father as he is betrayed and as he suffered for us.

Abba, Father, thank you for your authority in my life, your warmth and intimate care of me. As I approach today, may I walk in the encouragement of this truth. May I especially remember this truth as I walk through challenging times in life.

Following Jesus with you,


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