Family resemblance

Family resemblance

For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son. – Romans 8:29

1 Peter 2:21-23 

 21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.

 22 He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone.

 23 He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.

Family resemblance is the tendency for children or members within a collective family unit to resemble each other through a variety of different attributes from physical looks to personality. “There is normally a degree of family resemblance between members of a family, where there is multiple siblings, they usually share some attributes” (Psychology Dictionary).

Everyone to some degree or another, bears the characteristics and traits of their family of origin. It is all about genetics, DNA, and socialization. If we act like the devil, there is probably good reason.

When we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, the Father adopts us into His forever family. Before that, whose family did we belong to? The answer is tragic. There are only two families on earth, the Father’s and the enemy’s (John 8:44). This can be a startling, if not an overwhelming realization.

The Father’s intended purpose is to transform us from the inside out. He desires that we lose our old family traits and exchange them for new family traits, His family traits. He desires that we be conformed and take on the characteristics of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Father wants us to become like his Son (Romans 8:29). He is actively working toward that end.

When we realize what it means to have the Lord God Almighty as our Father, and the great privilege of being part of His family, how difficult is it to allow Him to exercise authority and direction in our lives? He offers us freedom under authority. The enemy proposes that we can have freedom without authority. It did not work out well in the garden. The same has been true for the last 6000 years.

REFLECT & PRAY

What is the secret of not getting angry, getting even, and seeking revenge?

Father thank you for giving us such a wonderful example. Keep tapping on me until I become just like Him.

INSIGHT

It is natural to ask the question, what are the characteristics of the family of God? What is the Father like as a person and how does He act? The Father has a magnificent answer to that question. He left us a perfect example.

Hebrews 1:3 The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command.

Hebrews 1:3  He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature.

The Father wants us to become like his Son.

1 Peter 2:21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.

What does it mean that Christ is our example? Paul used a special Greek word to explain.

The Greek word translated example is hupogrammos from hupounder and graphowrite. It literally means to write under. How did Greek children learn the alphabet? They were presented with a model or pattern, an example for imitation, a master copy to imitate.  Faint outlines of letters are often made on their writing materials. Then young pupils traced over them as they learned to write.

The master copy was called the hupogrammos. They would practice forming the letters of the master copy until theirs were identical to it. But there is more.

Many of us as children probably remember a particular handicraft activity. We were given a thin sheet of copper. We placed the copper over an object that we wanted to make an impression of. Perhaps a metal coin or flat ceramic. We laid the copper foil over the image and we gently tapped on it. As we did, the image of the object below began to form in the copper foil. The impression in the copper, closely resembled the object below.

In the Father’s hands, we are the copper foil. The Lord Jesus Christ is the image. When we became His children, He gently laid us over the image of His Son and began to tap. Over time, as he hammers away, the image of Christ is formed in us.

When the Lord Jesus Christ experienced harsh, unfair treatment, how did He respond?

1 Peter 2:22-23 

 22 He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone.

 23 He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.

The Lord Jesus Christ was reviled, insulted, scorned, and despised by many, particularly those in authority, during His earthly ministry. He never lost control. He was a patient sufferer .

Imagine the wounds His gentle spirit and tender heart received through the repeated ugly, abusive speech, rudeness, and haughty contempt. The Lord Jesus Christ never lost it, retaliated, or returned insult for insult. He never made an attempt to settle the score, get revenge.  He confronted, but He was not in the business of getting even (John 8).

How did He do it? He kept entrusting Himself to the Father. He gave over His care and preservation entirely to His heavenly Father. He committed the outcome of the circumstances to his Father, the heavenly Judge. Situations and people were continually and repeatedly handed over to His Life Coach. He invited the Father to exercise complete control and direction in His life.

No matter what, His attitude was always the same: “not my will, but yours, be done” (Luke 22:42).

One thought on “Family resemblance

  1. This is easier said than done. Especially when you are being bombarded with rudeness, insults, rejection and lack of care on a daily basics. As humans facing this situations we tend to harden our heart and seek some sort of retribution. Ohhhh May the God of mercies give us strength to be like His son. Only then can we say “not my will, but Your will be done”

    Like

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