God’s Brethren or Jesus Brethren?
Are We Brethren To God or Brethren To Christ?
(Hebrews 2:17) “Wherefore in all things it behoved him (Jesus) to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
1. God does NOT have brothers (or brethren) [G80 brethren: a brother (literally or figuratively)] and no scripture indicates otherwise. God does, however, have those whom he considers being his sons; that is those who are obedient to his will and for most of us it is a process in which the bible speaks of as being adopted sons and joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17; Galatians 3:28-29; Galatians 4:4-7)
2. Furthermore, the writer is indicating that the purpose of the first person being referenced, “him” (Jesus), is so that “he” (Jesus) might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God (*NOTE: It does not say things pertaining to “himself”)
3. It is Jesus, not God, who is called the Son of God, and it is Jesus who has brethren and sisters (Matthew 12:50, Mark 3:35)
Jesus made a very emphatic statement when he said— “Call no man Father on the earth for one is your father even God and all ye are brethren.” (Matthew 23:9.) And Paul assures us that “Both he that sanctifieth (Jesus) and they that are sanctified (the “body”) are all one, for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren.” (Hebrews 2:11)
The Importance Of What Jesus Said And What It Means
Jesus NEVER claimed that any man would be a Son to him, only God made that claim (Revelation 21:7).
Jesus SAID: those of us who do the will of his Father; to use the words of Jesus “the same is my brother and sister”. Therefore, if we were his brother it would then be impossible to be his son.
(Matthew 12:50) – For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. [Figuratively or spiritually speaking]
(Mark 3:35) – For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.
God does not have brothers, sisters, or a mother (earthly or otherwise). He has sons and daughters (children of God) of which he is our Father (Spiritually speaking) just as he is to Jesus.
This is why Jesus told us to pray to “Our” Father because we have the same father he has. (Luke 11:22; John 5:30) and why Paul, Peter, John, and Jesus himself acknowledged that God was his Father and God in a great many verses (John 20:17; 2 Corinthians 11:31; Ephesians 1:3; 3:14-15; 1 Peter 1:3; 1 John 1:3; 2 John 1:3; Revelation 3:5, 12-13, 21).
Romans Chapter 8 refers us to the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, which is the hope all Christians share believing in Christ, that he was the first resurrected (Son of God), and we who believe will follow as one of his brethren and joint heirs with Christ.
(Romans 8:29) – For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
(1 Peter 1:19-21) – But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you. 21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
(1 Corinthians 15:20) – But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
(Romans 8:17) – And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Those who are led by the Spirit (God), as was Jesus (Luke 4:1), become sons of God (Romans 8:14), NOT Gods.
Note: Jesus (if Jesus were the Spirit /God) was not leading himself through the wilderness! This leads us somewhere between ridiculous and nonsense.
God, The Suffering Father? Not True
Many teach that the Father suffered in the Son, in that God suffered as a father who was watching his son suffer, this however is not scriptural. On the contrary, this was God’s plan for Jesus all along (Luke 22:42). One passage reflects Jesus telling his disciples that he must die and after three days he was to be resurrected (Matthew 12:40; Mark 8:31). I am not aware of one Scripture that references God being sad, angry, or grieving over the persecution which Jesus endured, in fact, the opposite is true (Luke 3:22; 2 Peter 1:17; John 12:27-28).
In fact, the purpose for dying was to reveal a greater hope, the reward of eternal life was now obtainable to man since the fall of Adam.
Some teach that the reason why Jesus, at the cross, cried out “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me”, was because at that very moment in which he bore our sins in his body on the tree (1 Peter 2:24) the Eternal Spirit lifted from him and he felt the damnation of hell and the agony of a lost soul. Here again, this is NOT scripture or biblical.
First, Jesus’ cries reflected the physical pain that he was enduring from this terrible torture;
Jesus suffered because he had committed himself to be obedient to the will of God, fully trusting God. Knowing that God was fully able to do that which he had committed to him.
(1 Peter 2:21-23) – For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself [Jesus] to him [God] that judgeth righteously:
Second, Jesus was not “absorbing” every man’s sins literally; Jesus was “sinless” all of his life (1 John 3:5) before, during, and after his death. Christ was the human lamb, without spot or blemish so he could accomplish God’s purpose by being the perfect sacrifice and thus atone for our sins.
Just as being the Lamb of God is figurative, Jesus bearing our sins is also spoken in a figurative sense. We know this because sin is still in the world. It was not literally taken away or became non-existent. Yet Jesus was our living example of how a man is to live, a life dead (or removed) from sinful acts. It is this “life” (Jesus’ pattern of living) that allows us to be totally free from the fear of death because Christ showed us that death is not permanent for those who believe in him.