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Jesus Our Brother

Hebrews 2:10-13
In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. He says, 'I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises.' And again, 'I will put my trust in him.' And again he says, 'Here am I, and the children God has given me.' (NIVUK)

This title seems perhaps too familiar to describe the Lord Jesus Christ who is God the Son, the Ruler of everything. Our unholy sinful nature shies away from getting too close to God, who is infinitely holy. For that reason many religions offer surrogate mediators who seem more accessible; but Jesus is the only mediator we need, and the only One who can mediate between God's purity and our impurity (1 Timothy 2:5). His suffering was the punishment each of us deserved; His glorification is the prelude to all His people sharing His glory one day (John 17:22, 24). He shared our nature so that we might share His.

Christ's work was a family matter. All who receive Him are children of God (John 1:12). He is the first Son of the Father, begotten not created, and all other children of God are added into His family. That makes Jesus our elder brother. He said it Himself, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me." (Matthew 28:10). The writer of this letter affirms that Jesus has not the slightest hesitation in saying that those who trust in Him are His brothers and sisters. Under the Spirit's guidance, he quotes from Psalm 22:22 to show that the Saviour is one of many brothers and sisters, even though He holds the prime place of honour, glory and power. He also quotes from Isaiah 8:17-18 to clarify that God has granted more children for Jesus to look after, as would an elder brother.

Such intimate relationship with God the Son is difficult for some people to accept. But it is the truth. If you are trusting in Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord, then you have become a child of God. And all children of God are in His one family with Jesus as the eldest brother (Romans 8:29) – even though He is co-equal with God. John 20:17 makes the relationships clear, "Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.' "

If you are thinking that this is an almost unbelievable privilege, you are right … but please believe it because it is true. The implications of the direct family relationship God has given you with Himself through Jesus are extensive, but here are two. One: when the devil tries to bully you into sin or fear or despair: stand firm, refuse to be shaken and ask your older brother to deal with him. Two: when sin has you in its grip, do not run to surrogate mediators; they have no God-authorised power: run to Jesus to cleanse you and set you free.

Prayer 
Father God. Thank You that You have made Jesus to be the first of many brothers. Forgive me for having a distorted view of my relationship with Him, when He is my elder brother and wants to lead and look after me. Please help me to understand how close You want me to be to Your heart and that, through Jesus' suffering, I can be. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams

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