Have you ever thought about what it must have been like to be Jesus’ sibling?
Let me just back up and do a quick theological review – no surprises here to my readers, but part of setting the stage….
As I tell my grandchildren, Jesus was 100% God and 100% man, just as most of them are 100% Canadian and 100% American. Or, I say, he was as much God as is God the Father, and as much a ‘man’ as you are – except without sin.
Adam was the first great representative of the human race, who engulfed us all in ruin. Christ was the second great representative of our race. Every day of his life, Jesus was seeking to secure our salvation. That is, day by day and moment by moment his intent was to obey God’s law in perfection. And it is this accomplished righteousness – law-keeping righteousness – that he bequeaths to us to be our own when he is our Savior. We all know that and glory in it.
But what do you think it was like growing up with such a person? What do you think it was like to be Jesus’ younger brother?
How did it go over, how did Mary and Joseph handle, it when James came to them and said, “You act like he is perfect!”
Or when Joses pointed to Jesus and said, “It was Jesus. Jesus did it.”
Non- starters aren’t they?
We all know that Jesus, though infinitely gracious and forgiving, never soft-pedaled sin. He was devastatingly outspoken about the realities of good and evil. What would it have been like to grow up with an older brother who unerringly saw the secret motivations of your fallen heart?
It is no surprise to see his brothers’ hostility to him in John 7. They were still in darkness and darkness hates light.
And, of course, we would have been just the same.
We are the same.
But isn’t it amazing that what we most hate before God gets hold us us, we are most grateful for once we are his? That is, the exposure of our sin. In order that we may see it, abhor it, and lay it down.
There is no other meaningful definition of freedom.