THE WONDROUS RELATIONSHIP
"Whoever shall do the will of my Father who is in heaven, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother." —Mark 3:35
As if no solitary earthly type were enough to image forth the love of Jesus, He assembles into one verse a group of the tenderest earthly relationships. Human affection has to focus its loveliest hues, but all is too little to afford an exponent of the depth and intensity of His love. "As one whom his mother comforts;" "my sister, my spouse." He is "Son," "Brother," "Friend"—all in one; "cleaving closer than any brother."
And can we wonder at such language? Is it merely figurative, expressive of more than the reality?—He gave Himself for us; after that pledge of His affection we must cease to marvel at any expression of the interest He feels in us. Anything He can say or do is infinitely less than what He has done.
Believer! are you solitary and desolate? Has bereavement severed earthly ties? Has the grave made forced estrangements—sundered the closest links of earthly affection? In Jesus you have filial and fraternal love combined; He is the Friend of friends, whose presence and fellowship compensates for all losses, and supplies all blanks; "He sets the solitary in families." If you are orphaned, friendless, comfortless here, remember there is in the Elder Brother on the Throne a love deep as the unfathomed ocean, boundless as Eternity! And who are those who can claim the blessedness spoken of under this wondrous imagery? On whom does He lavish this unutterable affection? No outward profession will purchase it. No church, no priest, no ordinances, no denominational distinctions. It is on those who are possessed of holy characters. "He who does the will of my Father who is in heaven!" He who reflects the mind of Jesus; imbibes His Spirit; takes His Word as the regulator of his daily walk, and makes His glory the great end of his being; he who lives to God, and with God, and for God; the humble, lowly, Christ-like, Heaven-seeking Christian—he it is who can claim as his own this wondrous heritage of love! If it be a worthy object of ambition to be loved by the good and the great on earth, what must it be to have an eye of love ever beaming upon us from the Throne, in comparison of which the attachment here of brother, sister, kinsman, friend—all combined—pales like the stars before the rising sun! Though we are often ashamed to call Him "Brother," "He is not ashamed to call us brethren." He looks down on poor worms, and says, "The same is my mother, and sister, and brother!" "I will write upon them," He says in another place, "my new name." Just as we write our name on a book to tell that it belongs to us; so Jesus would write His own name on us, the wondrous volumes of His grace, that they may be read and pondered by principalities and powers.
Have we "known and believed this love of God?" Ah, how poor has been the requital! Who cannot subscribe to the words of one, whose name was in all the churches—"Your love has been as a shower; the return but a dew-drop, and that dew-drop stained with sin."
"If a man love me, he will keep My Words; and my father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him."