My brother from my other mother
There are stories about the empty chair set for Elijah at the Passover table. A Christian version suggests that the extra place is set in case Jesus comes to visit. It happened that a stranger did come one day. Confusion resulted. Someone tried to seat the visitor, but the host objected, “It must remain empty!”
How seriously do we take messages from scripture as they relate to things familiar to us? Our relationship with God is one such area. The question arises, is Jesus our brother?
I have more recently been thinking about my extra brother, from my other Mother Mary. I have seven brothers among my siblings, and as I say my morning prayers, I look at the pictures of siblings who have been born to eternal life.
Among the pictures I have placed one of Jesus. As I look at my family members in the Communion of Saints pictured there, I often ask for intercessions with my daily problems and struggles. How powerful it is to have Jesus among them in my morning prayers.
Do we feel comfortable calling Jesus our Brother? We should. The purpose of this column is to make us more ready to accept that Jesus is our brother and all that this implies.
Scripture tells us that God predestined us for adoption as His sons through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will. (Ephesians 1:5). I love the following definition of adoption:
A child asks her mother, “What does it mean that I am adopted?”
The mother replies, “That means you grew in my heart instead of my tummy.”
Certainly we have grown in God’s heart! A writer for e6ministries.org put it this way: “Ever since I was young, I wanted a brother. Older or younger, it didn’t really matter …. There is a strong bond between brothers. They are there for each other in times of trouble …. Brothers can be counted on to come through, to make sacrifices and to love unconditionally.
“someone having my back no matter what the situation. There has always been something deep inside me that desired a brother, someone of my own blood who would be willing to stand by me, and me with him, through anything that life would bring our way.
“But wait a second, I already have this brother, the one I have desired throughout my life. He has been there the entire time waiting for me to reach out to Him, to surrender and give my life to Him. His name is Jesus.”
The article goes on to explain why this is true. The bible tells us in Hebrews 2:11, “For the one who sanctifies, and the ones who are sanctified, are of the same stock; that is why he openly calls them brother.” And Matthew 12:50 says, “Anyone who does the will of my Father in Heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother.”
God chose us long ago “to become true images of his Son, so that his Son might be the eldest of many brothers [In scripture this generic term also means sisters].” (Romans 8:29). He called us, justified us and shared his glory with us.
Following that call gives us the power to be children of God. “But to all who did accept him he gave the power to become children of God.” (John 1:12).