Summary: Brothers and sisters are important, aren’t they? If you really need help, they will not turn you away. What a comfort it is when Jesus says that he is not ashamed to call us his brothers and sisters!
Hebrews 2: 9-11
Pentecost 20 B
Rev. Charles F. Degner
9But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. 10In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.
As time passes in my life, I have grown to appreciate how important our earthly family is, especially our brothers and sisters. In John 11, Jesus came to Mary and Martha when their brother died and comforted them. First, he said, “Your brother will rise again.” Then he gave their brother back to them by raising him from the dead. He turned their tears into laughter, their funeral into a party. When you tell me that your brother or sister has died, I know what bitter sorrow that means for you. And so does Jesus, because our text tells us that he is not ashamed to call us brothers and sisters.
If I were in very grave trouble, to whom would I turn for help? Of course, I would turn to my family first. My parents are aged, and I would not turn to them. My children are a big help to me and will be even more in my old age. My wife is always by my side, my true helper, as we heard in the book of Genesis. But if I did not want to burden my wife or my children or my parents with my troubles, to whom would I go? I would go first to my brothers or my sister. I know they would help me. They would comfort me if I needed comfort and they would give me a scolding, if that was what I needed. And they would know me well enough to know which I needed and when. Jesus says in our text that he is not ashamed to call his brothers. Before we turn to husband or wife, or brother or sister, we can always turn to Jesus.
Jesus Became Our Brother
1) A brother by birth
Our text says: “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.” These words invite us to look at Jesus closely, to see him as the true Son of God from eternity and to see him as the truly human son of Mary at the same time. This is stuff for our hearts to believe and not for our minds to understand. For how could Jesus be both God and man at the same time? How he be present everywhere and then bottled up in the flesh of a human being? How could he know everything, but have to learn to speak and read and write? Ye the Bible says that in Jesus the fullness of the deity lives in bodily form (Colossians 2:9). This if for our heart to believe and not for our minds to understand.
Our text says that God made his Son a little lower than the angels. Remember the passion story? When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, he prayed so hard that he was exhausted. The Bible says that an angel came and strengthened him. Yet he told Peter that he could ask for twelve legions of angels to fight for him. After forty days of fasting and resisting the devil in the wilderness, the angels came and attended him. Yet he could give a single command and send a legion of evil spirits out of the possessed man into a heard of pigs. How could he be so weak and so strong at the same time? Because he was both God and man at the same time. God made him a little lower than the angels. God made his Son, Jesus, who was true God from all eternity, come in the weakness of human flesh
You have often heard the expression that everyone in the world is really one family, the family of mankind. This is especially so if you believe that God created the world, and that he created one man and one woman from whom the whole human race has descended. We are literally brothers and sisters in this human race, because Adam and Eve are our first parents. When God’s Son entered this world and was born of the virgin Mary, he became part of this human family. He became our brother.