Well, good afternoon! I had to take a brief hiatus, in order to create a 25-page document for a friend. That intense and time-intensive project used up all of my writing mojo!
Do you have a sibling? I have two. When I became pregnant with our first child, I knew immediately I desired to have at least one more. My husband and I became parents late in life. I didn't want an only child to have the additional burden of being "alone" in this world at an early age, should God desire to take my husband and me on home to glory. God graciously blessed with two sons, and now each has the other to call "brother".
There have been times when they have wanted to cheerfully kill each other! Well, you can't choose every member of your biological family... Hopefully, in the end, they will love and support each other, if they allow the Holy Spirit to rule and reign in their lives; such is my daily prayer.
In our Hebrews passage today, Jesus Christ is called the "brother" of those who belong to Him. Doesn't that add an interesting dimension to our relationship with our God and Savior, Jesus Christ?
Consider these verses from chapter 2, especially verse 12, and let's look a little more deeply at what this term "brother" means. The three Old Testament quotations in today's passage correspond to the Father's proclamation of Jesus' divine Sonship in 1:5-14. Hebrews 2:12, in particular, corresponds to Hebrews 1:5.
10For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source.b That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers,c 12saying,
“I will tell of your name to my brothers;
in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.”
“I will put my trust in him.”
“Behold, I and the children God has given me.”
"Children of God" is perhaps easier for us to grasp, and we'll most likely look at that verse tomorrow. But, brother? Here is what Bruce had to say in his commentary:
The quote in verse 12 is from Psalm 22:22, a psalm which early Christians all attributed to Jesus Christ as speaker. Why? Because he quoted from the earlier part of Psalm 22 on the cross. So, it logically follows that Jesus would be the prophecy fulfillment, the speaker, in the second part of the psalm also.
"And since those who are sanctified to God through his death are sons and daughters of God, the Son of God is not ashamed to acknowledge them as his brothers and sisters - - not only as those whose nature he took upon himself, but those whose trials he endured, for whose sins he made atonement, that they might follow him to glory on the path of salvation which he himself cut."
I want to put down a comment here from Cockerill, concerning the "For it was fitting...." aspect of verse 10. Cockerill says it so beautifully!
Christ's suffering was neither a logical necessity forced upon God, nor a mere decision of his will, but an appropriate expression of the divine character. Thus his incarnate suffering was integral to the Son's person as the ultimate revelation of God's nature."
Had Jesus Christ not assumed the flesh and blood of humanity, He would have been unable to redeem it! Unlike us, His brothers and sisters, who are being changed by His Holy Spirit who lives within us, Jesus Christ did not go through a period of "moral development". Instead, He assumed the human nature and lived a life of perfect and complete obedience, even under the worst kind of suffering and, ultimately, the most torturous death. Praise His Name forever!
By confessing His brotherhood with us, His people, He thereby extends an invitation for us to rest in and to enjoy that filial relationship with God which has been made available for us by our Brother, the Pioneer.
Dear Triune God, Your magnificence is past comprehension! You have made me Your daughter, and Your sister. I just can't even begin to fathom that. But, I thank you with all my heart for choosing me and for allowing me to choose you. I look forward to an eternity of exploring more fully what that means. In Jesus' name, amen.
Bruce, F. F. The Epistle to the Hebrews. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1990. Kindle edition.
Cockerill, Gareth Lee. The Epistle to the Hebrews. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 2012. Kindle edition.