Most of us have heard the saying, “The straw that broke the camel’s back”, or its reduced form “the last straw”. It’s an idiom that describes how something seemingly minor can create a large or sudden reaction because of the cumulative effect of many small issues or actions. Parents, we have all lost our cool when our children do or don’t do something relatively small for what feels like the millionth time. It’s not that forgetting to take the trash out today was the worst thing that ever happened, it’s that the regular forgetfulness has finally reached its boiling point and today was the day we exploded. In our text today, the religious Jews went from trying to discredit Jesus for doing miracles on the Sabbath to planning to kill Him because He referred to God as “My Father”. What was it about those words, about hearing Jesus say, “My Father” in reference to God, that made them move from slander to murder? It seems small to us, we call God Father so much that it seems irrelevant or irrational, like the straw that broke the camel’s back. Israel knew that God was their Father. In Exodus 4:22 God spoke to Moses calling Israel His “firstborn son”. In Deuteronomy 32:6, in his final address to Israel Moses asked, “Is He not our Father, your Creator, who made you and formed you?” Israel knew that God was their Father, in that they originated from Him, but no one before Jesus had dared to call God, “My Father”. No one had claimed an intimate relationship, as a nation they had settled for a formal one because intimacy requires equality. Not equality as we define it in our culture, all having the same ability, the same opportunity, the same rank and the same role, but equality in having the same devotion to the relationship, the same desire for each other, the same choices of heart, character and commitment. An intimate relationship is not made up of two people who do the same things with and for each other but two people who fit together, each meeting needs, fulfilling desires, making sacrifices and thinking more highly of the other than they think of themselves. An intimate relationship is made up of people who are equal yet distinguished, the same in worth and submitted to each other in function. Intimacy requires equality, when Jesus used an intimate term to refer to God as “My Father”, the Jews understood that if He belonged to God in an intimate relationship then God had also given Himself to Jesus. That was not a picture of God they were willing to accept. He was to be bowed to in fear, not embraced in reverence; approached with trembling not anticipation; spoken of with formality not joyful intimacy. The part that the Jews missed was that Jesus was not holding God for Himself, “My Father” from Jesus’ lips would soon become “our Father” and even “your Father”. He was not just teaching the relationship that He had with God. He was using His relationship with God to teach what God desired for a relationship with each of them, even with each of us. Today we are going to discuss that being equal with God does not mean that we have God’s power, it means we are secure in God’s love and we have been invited to take part in God’s work. It means we are His children, we are not like God, but we are of God, we are from God and we were made in God’s image. This morning I pray that we will let Jesus lead us from using names for God that make us comfortable with who we are and who we want God to be, to calling Him “My Father”, even though that name requires more surrender from us and will provide more mercy from Him. I pray that we will join Jesus and see ourselves as equal with God.