Christ, our Brother

It is a difficult thought to accept, that Christ could be considered our brother, because He is the supreme God and creator of all. Now certainly we are in no way equal to Him, but in another context, it is biblical to consider Him as our brother, and I’d like to consider this perspective today.

In Hebrews 2:11-12, the inspired writer reveals that “both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying: “I WILL DECLARE YOUR NAME TO MY BRETHREN; IN THE MIDST OF THE ASSEMBLY I WILL SING PRAISE TO YOU.”

This scripture makes mention of Christ being not ashamed to call them brethren, that is, those whom He sanctifies. The word “brethren” in the original Greek text means “a brother born of the same parents or belonging to the same people.” It is evident from the context of Hebrews chapter two that the word “brethren” is being used to describe those being sanctified as sons of God. The previous verse stated: “For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings” Hebrews 2:10. If those who are brought to salvation are sons of God, and the Lord is considered the Son of God, then in such a context, they are brethren. That’s a wonderful thought!

Giving more consideration to the scripture, verse eleven notes that “both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one”, and that this is the reason by which Christ is not ashamed to call them brethren. But how did this come about? How are such men “of one” with Christ?  A further look into the context provides a better understanding:

Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil” Hebrews 2:14.

Verse fourteen explains that these individuals, called “the children”, are partakers of “flesh and blood,” i.e. they were born physically. And that Christ had Himself shared with them in the same nature, i.e. He too was born “flesh and blood”. So in becoming like us, He was able to save us. He was a comparable sacrifice in our stead. God taught man concerning the necessity of a “flesh and blood” sacrifice for many years beforehand using elementary modes of example (animals), but such flesh was not able to make atonement for man’s sins, it was not comparable:

“For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.” Hebrews 10:4.

The Lord’s body was a competent sacrifice, however, as he shared in the same “flesh and blood” as mankind. So then, as Hebrews 2:11 addressed, those sanctified and He who sanctified them are “all of one,” and are brethren. Brethren in the sense of having been “flesh and blood”, and brethren in the sense of being born again by the power of God and sanctified. Holy as He is holy. Brothers, sons of God.

So then, applying these spiritual truths outlined in Hebrews chapter two, we must emphasize that being brethren with Christ demands sanctification. We must be made holy, and we must remain holy. The term “brethren” is synonymous with “sons of God.” To count ourselves to be brothers, we must be living in a way that is befitting a son of God. How does a son of God act? A good question! The answer is in Christ, as He shared in the same “flesh and blood” as mankind, and as He is the son of God, the answer is in His fleshly life. How did He live? How did He behave? What choices did He make, and upon what did He base His decisions on? I suppose that all of those questions are fairly easy to answer, and so our original question, “How does a son of God act,” has also become easier to answer. Jesus, in the flesh, lived His life unto His Father in heaven. He daily gave up self and refused temptations to go His own way. He had resolve to do the will of God, that is, to live by the law of God. We are without excuse, for we know precisely how we ought to live. And we know what it takes for Jesus to be “not ashamed” to call us His “brethren”.

The writer of Hebrews quotes from Psalm 22:22 saying:

“I WILL DECLARE YOUR NAME TO MY BRETHREN; IN THE MIDST OF THE ASSEMBLY I WILL SING PRAISE TO YOU” Hebrews 2:12.

The “I” speaking in that verse is the Lord Jesus, read it again with that in mind. What an awesome thought! Not only did the Savior declare the Father to His brethren (John 1:18, John 17:6) while on the earth. But also, Jesus joins the song of the sons of God “in the midst of the assembly”. This is not an unusual thought for Jesus to be so near to the assembly of God’s children; He is seen in their midst in Revelation 1:13, and the church is repeatedly called His body in the New Testament letters; the head and the body in not to be separated. Let us be sure to recognize by faith the nearness of the Savior to His brethren, the sanctified sons of God.

Article by Tanner Campbell