Family

Hebrews 2:11 “Both the one who makes men holy and those who are being made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.”

God wanted to make us part of his family, and so God’s Son made himself a part of our family. He didn’t start over with a new lump of clay from some untainted world in another universe to fashion his human body and soul. He didn’t merely speak his human body into existence. He chose to be born of a human woman. He drew the genetic material for his flesh and bones from Mary’s. Maybe, when they stood next to each other, you could see her eyes in his. Maybe that chin or that nose was her father’s, his grandpa’s. The blood flowing through his veins was the blood of generations of Jewish kings, and patriarchs before them, and this world’s first citizens before them. Somewhere, his family tree intersects with ours. Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family.

Yet, he is not ashamed to call us brothers. There is an old saying that you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family. Jesus did. But this is what is even more amazing: he chose his family, in spite of all the baggage our human race has to offer.

Have you ever done genealogical work, put together a family tree? There is always the hope someone important is hiding back there on one of the branches. Maybe I am descended from some hero I can be proud to claim as my ancestor. Of course, the opposite is true as well. There is always the danger that some lowlife, criminal, or thug–maybe even a real monster of history–made a contribution to who you are today.

And we hope that no one in our own generation is going to do something to disgrace the family name. The family is a part of ourselves. We feel the shame when other members make a public spectacle of themselves.

Not Jesus. He knew what he was getting into when he joined humanity and became our sacred Sibling. He knew about the murderers, adulterers, and perverts. He knew about the liars, cheaters, and thieves. He knew about the self-righteous, the smug, and the snobs. He knew about the backstabbers, the unscrupulous, and the hypocrites. He knew about us all. He knew that he would be accused of the same shortcomings that ran in the family. He joined it just the same.

That is because he loved us too much to pity us from afar. He came close, he became our brother, so that he could be accused of all the family sins. Then he suffered not only their shame, but their punishment as well. At the cross, he cleared the family name forever. He has cleared your name forever, and he is not ashamed to be called your brother.

Can we imagine a greater glory, this side of heaven, than to claim Jesus Christ as our own flesh and blood?

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