By Campus Missionary Mary Rowley
What does it mean to be someone’s son? In biblical times, this often meant that the son would take over the family business. For example, Joseph’s father was probably a carpenter who taught his son how to be a carpenter. When Jesus was born, Joseph raised him up to be a carpenter. That was the way things worked – the son did what the father did. If a son was adopted, I imagine it would work the same. The adopted son would be happy to have the opportunity to be part of the family, and therefore, part of the family business.
When Jesus came to earth, he arranged things for us so that we could become adopted sons and daughters of his Father. As Galatians chapter 4 describes, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (verses 4-5). Jesus’s work is finished; we are indeed adopted. So what does that mean for us?
Let’s look at God’s “family business.” Jesus did the same things his Father did – he built relationships with people so that they could be saved. He shared himself with others for their good, something that often hurt him. He wasn’t concerned about himself, only those who didn’t know him. As fellow sons and daughters of the Father, that’s our family business, too. We are to share the presence of Jesus with those who don’t have it. In a sense, we are to be the presence of Jesus to everyone we meet. We can do this because we already have it. As we look towards the New Year, let’s envision some ways that we can be the presence of Jesus in the lives of our friends and family – and even strangers.