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 would include such things as body type, facial features, the color of eyes, gait, temperament, talents, intelligence, etc. It is all about genetics, DNA, and socialization.

If we act like the devil, there is probably good reason.

When we were born into this world, to whose spiritual family did we belong? The answer is tragic. There are only two spiritual families on earth, the Father’s and the enemy’s (John 8:44). At one level this is startling. It is shocking, if not seemingly unbelievable. Until something changes, every human is born into Satan’s family. The only answer to this dilemma is adoption. When we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, the Father adopts us into His forever family. We become children of the King. But there’s more.

The Father’s intended purpose is to transform us from the inside out. He desires that we lose the traits of our old family and exchange them for the traits of our new family traits, Father’s family. He desires that we be conformed to the qualities and 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.

Consider for a moment what it means to have the Lord God Almighty as our Father. What a great privilege it is to be part of His family. How special is that!

Why would even consider resisting His authority and direction for our lives? He offers us freedom under His authority. The enemy proposes freedom without authority. It did not work out well in the garden. It has not worked well for the last 6000 years of human history. The tremendous social and cultural upheavals of the 21st century illustrate what happens when everyone does what is right in their own eyes. They manifest the characteristics of their family of origin.

REFLECT & PRAY

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

Father thank You for giving us such a wonderful example in Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. I want to be just like Him. Keep working on me until I possess and exhibit His characteristics and qualities.

INSIGHT

It is only natural to ask a question that lurks within our hearts. What are the characteristics of the Father’s forever family? What is the Father like as a person and how does He act? The Father has answered that question magnificently. He left us a perfect example in the Lord Jesus Christ.

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.

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.

In what way is the Lord Jesus Christ our example? Paul used a special Greek word to illustrate and elaborate the concept.

The Greek word translated example is hupogrammos from hupo under and grapho write. It literally means to write under. To better understand the significance, we need to know how Greek children learned 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 letters.

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 object or 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 to be copied. When we became children of the King, the Father gently laid each of us over the pattern of His Son and began to tap. Over time, as He hammers away, the image of the Lord Jesus Christ is slowly 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, 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 attempted to settle the score, get revenge. He frequently confronted mean-spirited, accusers and hypocrites, but He was not in the business of getting even (John 8).

How was he able He do it? He kept entrusting Himself to the Father. He gave over His care and preservation entirely to His Father. He committed the outcome of the life experiences to His Father. Situations and people were continually and repeatedly handed over to His Life Coach. Consequently, the Father had complete control and direction of His life.

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

¯\_()_/¯ 11-08-9

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