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In Romans 8:29 we find another name for Jesus we don’t hear very often – Big Brother. No, it’s not the gov’t watching over you or a reality show on network television. Nor is Jesus the brother who gloats over his accomplishments, the brother who is overbearing and condescending, or the brother who teases and pesters. Obviously not. We know that none of this is part of his character.
Jesus is Love. He is Protection. He is Mercy.
But the verse tells us that He is the firstborn among many brothers. Because we are destined by God to be conformed to Christ’s image, we can be these things to our fellow brothers as well. This vertical exchange of righteousness, this reflection of Christ’s image in our own lives, impacts all of our horizontal relationships. We are love. We are protection. We are mercy, to our brothers and sisters in Christ, through Christ.
May this be all the more true in our own homes. Our loved ones often get the scraps of our character. They receive what is left over after a day of work and effort for other people. But Christ lives in us, at our tables and in our conversations. He is in our bedtime stories and prayers, and in our date nights. Not in just the elaborate celebrations of Christmas or the vacations when we finally get away from it all. He is in the simple art of each day, lived together, for Him.
Because He is our brother, our family is different, our marriage is different. Forgiveness reigns and reasonableness is possible (Phil. 4:5). This is why returning to the Word, day in and day out is so vital. This is where Christ continues to remind us of our baptism and fill us with Himself, so that He is poured out on those we serve…in our home, as well as in our churches.