I am the oldest of five siblings. In that mix I have one sister (sorry Sis but this an article about brothers) and three brothers. My oldest younger brother Chip is a little over one year younger than me, my next younger brother Matt is 20 years younger and my baby brother Michael is 30 years younger. I didn’t get to spend as much time with two younger brothers just because of our age difference and I was already in college for one and old fart by the time Michael came around.
Chip and I grew up and lived like traditional siblings do. My greatest rock throw was to the back of his head as he was running around the house. My early sports victories were at his expense. It was Chip who I shot with a bb gun. The last real fight I ever got in was with Chip. I still remember that day. For some reason he decided that he had had enough and no matter how much I pummeled him he kept coming back for more. Finally, with a butcher knife in my hand I told him our fight was over. We never fought again. It was a good thing because he started to get big after that and fighting wouldn’t have been as fun any more. Later on when Chip got married he asked me to be his best man. I still remember handing him his bride’s ring out of my sweating hand; they had to shake it off to put it on her finger. When I got married I asked him to be my best man. Things had changed!
In college I found myself connected to another band of brothers. I was involved in a collegiate ministry called Student Mobilization and had forged a number of great friendships- a number of which I still have to this day. Some of my greatest ministry memories are tied back to the men that I co-labored with during those years. I look back with very fond memories of those days, so much so that I am in the process of helping Stumo to launch an alumni website to reconnect the graduates from that ministry. You may move on but you never forget your brothers.
I was reading today in Hebrews Chapter 2 and ran across a passage that is a bit shocking if you think about it. Jesus calls us brothers:
10 In 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. 11 Both 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.
The Scripture also says that we are co-heirs with Him. Galatians 4 says, “7 so you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.” Earlier in Hebrews the author writes that Jesus is the heir of all things, “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe”. To think that somehow we are brothers to the 2nd person of the Godhead is pretty staggering if you think about it. Honestly, I am not even sure if I understand the ramifications of that. But, as I seek to be a better brother to my brothers in 2009, it is fun to think about the fact that I am a little brother too. Sometimes there is a lot of pressure when you are the oldest!