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.
Our Unashamed Brother
Paul Gerhardt was a man who’d been put through the emotional wringer. Some might even call him a more recent version of Job. Because standing at the graveside of your son or daughter, especially a son or daughter who died at a young age, is one of the most horrific things a parent can imagine, that is if one can imagine it at all. Having to do that once would be borderline unbearable. Paul Gerhardt had to do it—four times. Four small caskets, four sets of funeral clothes, four painful goodbyes. And as if that weren’t enough, then Gerhardt’s wife died unexpectedly, leaving him as a single dad to their sole remaining child, a six-year-old boy.
But all that loss, believe it or not, is not what makes Paul Gerhardt memorable and noteworthy. What makes him memorable and noteworthy is the fact that he experienced what he experienced in life and yet was still able to sit down and put these words on paper in one of his hymns, “Dear Christian Friend, on him depend; be of good cheer and let no sorrow move you.” How could Paul Gerhardt say, “Be of good cheer and let no sorrow move you”? It’s because of what he wrote next. “For God’s own child in mercy mild, joins you to him, how greatly God must love you!”
God’s own child joined himself to our human family. He is not ashamed to call us his brothers and sisters. Shouldn’t he be? I mean, every family has at least one child who always seems to choose the more rebellious road. In God’s family, that rebel is you and me.
And yet here is our Jesus, our proud brother, unashamed to call us his siblings. And not only willing to simply call us his siblings, but our brother also went on to be our sacrifice so that we might spend eternity as co-heirs with him, sharing the same heavenly Father. Fellow rebels, rejoice! Jesus is willing to be our sacrifice, and he is not ashamed to call us his family.
Jesus, I am proud and so very thankful to be a part of your family. Amen.
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