Brothers (and Sisters)

 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.”

Hebrews 2:10-13

This is another section of text that is breathtaking if you’ll relax and let its full significance settle in.  Check out that first paragraph…  Yes, it was quite fitting for God to make Jesus perfect through His suffering, but that isn’t the breathtaking part, at least not for me.  It is the part about bringing many sons (and daughters) to glory.  Jesus attained glory through His suffering; we attain glory through His suffering. Jesus is in glory- we are headed for glory.  Wow!

Note: If you are wondering why I put “sisters” and “daughters” in parentheses, it’s because those words are not in the Greek. It’s “brothers” and “sons”. If you would like to accuse the “new” NIV of being politically correct, I would join with you here, and it is irritating to me too.  However, it does capture the full intent of the original, because while they didn’t come out and say it literally, those were inclusive terms in context.  Sometimes we forget that in Middle Eastern cultures back then, and even today, it is not polite to refer to women in this fashion; the masculine form represents the whole.  By adding those terms, the NIV has captured this and made it clear to modern Western readers that it was intended in the inclusive form. Back to the text…

The one “who makes people holy” is obviously a reference to Jesus. We who are His followers are the ones made holy, and another “wow” moment: Both are in the same family: Welcome to God’s family, we are the brothers and sisters of Jesus! Therefore, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Jesus Christ, as He sits on the throne at the right hand of God, ruling heaven and earth is not only King of kings and Lord of lords, but He is also our “big brother”.  If you aren’t filled with awe right now, please slow down and read that again.

The Old Testament quotes that follow are placed there to demonstrate that this is something that has been foretold in Scripture, even though people may not have comprehended it at first.  Imagine how early Jewish Christians in the circumstances of their time would have reacted to this.  Being the brother of the Son of God, a God whose name it was unlawful to even say out loud: Amazing!

I hope that it strikes you the same way.  So many of us go through our lives filled with guilt, grief and fear, not ever comprehending how precious we are in God’s sight… Brothers, in the family… relations…  Not evil, wretched sinners.  Thanks to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and your acceptance of His grace, all of that is so far away, and God remembers it no more… Brother! Sister! Son! Daughter!

Welcome home!

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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7 Responses to Brothers (and Sisters)

  1. This is what I keep trying to teach my Muslims. They are taught we are God’s slaves.

  2. Can you please explain this passage:

    God to make Jesus perfect through His suffering

    Wasn’t Jesus already perfect by his nature as the divine Son of God?

    • Don Merritt says:

      First off, thank you for asking such a great question- I must admit that for as long as I’ve been doing this, I don’t think anyone has ever asked it before, and it’s one that should be asked.

      Yes, Jesus was already perfect; you have that entirely right.

      I think the answer to your question lies in the inadequacy of the English language when we try to translate from the Greek. The original word is “teleioō” (G5048) meaning to make perfect, to complete, to carry something through, to finish. Thus, it isn’t His divine perfection that’s at issue, but that He completed His purpose through suffering on the cross. At any rate, that’s how I see it; hopefully that helps.

  3. Pingback: Brothers (and Sisters) | A disciple's study

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