Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. In fact, we are all part of God’s family (Hebrews 2:11).
8:20 I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice [a synonym of righteousness], 21 bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me and making their treasuries full.
Americans tend to think individually rather than as a family, which is largely due to our heritage as Americans. Many of our forefathers and their families came to America for a new start away from their extended families and heritage. Hence, individual choice is paramount to us. In “Misreading Scripture Through Western Eyes,” the authors hold up a mirror to us,
“The highest goal and virtue in this sort of culture [Western societies] is being true to oneself. The supreme value is the sovereignty of the individual.” (page 96).
“The non-Western concept of family is broader than the Western. But Jesus expanded it even more. For Jesus, family not only designated one’s immediate, biological relatives but included all who are knit together in faith. (page 105)
Jesus continues to expand His family through the church. We are His church, His bride. We are His body through which He fills everything in every way,
22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. Ephesians 1:22-23
We are the aroma of Christ everywhere we go. This aroma sets the stage for ministry, witness, and evangelism. Christ is still leading a growing procession as the church continues to spread and grow, just like the rock in Daniel’s interpretation of Neb’s dream in Daniel 2:34-35 that grew and “became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.” Paul said that to some we are the smell of death; I interpret this smell to be conviction of the Spirit to a lost person. He then said we are the fragrance of life to our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Let’s read this passage:
14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? 2 Corinthians 2:14-15
Today as we go to church, may we consider those around us. They are more than friends; they are brothers and sisters in God’s family. We will be spending eternity together; maybe we ought to start thinking more long-term in our relationships with them.
Abba, You have included us in Your family. It’s One Big Family! You are our heavenly Father and Jesus is our Big Brother. May we cultivate a kingdom attitude toward our fellow brothers and sisters. Amen.