JESUS MY BROTHER
Most frequently Jesus is referred to as the Son of God, the Christ, our Savior and Lord. Seldom do we talk about Him as our brother. And yet, that is precisely how Jesus identified himself.
One day when Jesus was visiting the home of a family, “again a crowd gathered so that he and his disciples were not able to eat.” (Mark 3:20) While there, Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived looking for him. Standing outside, they sent someone into the house to inform him of their presence. When Jesus got the news, he leveraged the moment to communicate a spiritual reality about God’s eternal family. Looking directly into the faces of those around him he asked, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” He then answered his own question. “Here are my mother and brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:33-35)
The writer of Hebrews shares how Christ came and took upon himself human form to fully identify with man in his struggles against sin. Being tempted in all points as we are, Jesus is able to fully empathize with our struggles and, as our merciful high priest, intercede for us before the Father. The writer then adds, “But the one who makes men holy (Jesus) and those who are made holy (us) are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.” (2:11)
As a brother and member of the same family, Jesus was not just sent to pay the price for our sins. He was sent to companion with us, to help us, and to bring us to glory. (Hebrews 2:10) He has taken on the responsibility before the Father to make a way for us to be reunited with God the Father. That is his role as brother and Savior. “Jesus, and the people he makes holy, all belong to the same family.” (Heb. 2:11)
In the late seventies, I had the opportunity of doing some ventures with Paul and Margaret Powers who ministered at a large, downtown Christian bookstore in Toronto, Canada in the area of film rentals and children’s ministries. Paul was one of North America’s leading ventriloquists and was in great demand. The pressures led to severe anxiety that eventually led to days alone fighting the demon of depression. It was at that time Margaret wrote a poem for Paul called “Footprints.” It has since exploded in popularity around the world. In this poem, she was seeking to assure Paul that the lonely footprints he saw on the sand of time were not his but those of Jesus, his Savior, friend and brother who was actually carrying him through the many challenges he faced.
Margaret’s poem serves to remind us why Jesus came. “Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying. We also know that the Son did not come to help angels; he came to help the descendants of Abraham. Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.” (Hebrews 2:14-18 NLT)
Sometimes we forget that Jesus has a personality and wants to engage us at a deeper level. (Rev. 3:20)
Be blessed my friend.
The Barnabas Group / Loads of Love
Prov. 18:24; Psalm 107; Lamentations 3:32; Isaiah 40:10-11; Deut. 33:26-27; I Peter 1:3-5