Our relationship as Christians with Jesus Christ is described in several different ways in the New Testament. We are all aware that Jesus Christ is our savior who died on the cross to save us. However, there are other definitions of our relationship with Jesus, like a friend, a disciple, and we are his followers. On the other hand, the name brother indicates a closer relationship with Jesus. However, what does the Bible say about Jesus being our brother? Is Jesus our brother?
Bible scholars and theologians conclude that Jesus is our brother because the Bible terms his followers as his “brothers” in several passages. Authors of four different books of the New Testament use the term ‘brother’ to describe the relationship Jesus had with his disciples. Christians, we are disciples of Jesus too, and thus we are also his brothers.
So, how does the New Testament use the term brothers? Did Jesus call his disciples brothers? How did Jesus define brotherhood? Where in the Bible does Jesus call his followers brothers? How is Jesus, our brother? Does being a Christian automatically make Jesus my brother? If Jesus is the leader of Christianity, does that make him our brother or Father? What determines brotherhood with Jesus? Continue reading to get the answers to these questions and more.
How does the New Testament use the term brothers?
The term brother is used in the New Testament to refer to blood relatives and Christians. It is also important to note that when the term brothers is used in the scripture, it includes sisters. Besides the physical family, the New Testament uses the term brothers to define those in God. Jesus says in the book of Mathew 12:48-49, “But he replied to the man who told him, who is my mother, and who are my brothers? And stretching out his hand towards his disciples, he said, here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and my sister and my mother.”
Did Jesus call his disciples brothers?
Jesus called his disciples brothers a couple of times in the gospel books. Mathew 28:10 says, “Then Jesus said to them, do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.” If you read the context of this verse, it is clear that Jesus was not referring to his physical brothers born to Mary and Joseph but to his disciples.
Additionally, when Jesus instructed Mary Magdalen in John 20:17, he called his disciples brothers. “Jesus said to her, do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to my father and your father, to my God and your God.” Therefore, it is clear that those who follow Jesus and believe in him are his brothers.
How did Jesus define brotherhood?
Jesus defined brotherhood in Mark 3 when his family had come looking for him. When he was informed that his family was waiting for him outside, Jesus looked around and noted that those were his family, but whoever does the will of the Father is also his family. Jesus’ statement implied that as much as physical family is essential, the brotherhood we share with him by doing the will of God is also essential.
Where in the Bible does Jesus call his followers brothers?
Jesus called those who follow him brothers in the book of Mark 3:34-35, “He looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, here are my mother and brothers! But whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”
When Jesus said these words, he was teaching in a house when his physical family came to take him home because they were worried about him. However, when Jesus was informed that his family was waiting for him outside, he looked around where his disciples had sat and told everyone that those who believed in him and do God’s will were his family too.
His statement implied that though our physical family is essential, we need to have a spiritual relationship with him, as that is what really matters in the end. Establishing an eternal relationship with God guarantees us eternal life.
How is Jesus, our brother?
Jesus is our brother because when we get born again, his source and our source become the same, God, and thus God becomes our Father. We all know that when two people share the same womb, then they become blood relatives as they will have similar inherited traits and DNA. That is similar to what happens in the Kingdom of God. Once you accept to join the family of God by being born again through your faith in the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus, you join the brotherhood, and God becomes our Father.
Galatians 4:4-6 says, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts crying, “Abba! Father!”
Does being a Christian automatically make Jesus my brother?
If you are a Christian and have accepted Jesus as your savior, then he is your brother. The book of Hebrews 2:11 says, “For him who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers.” The author of Hebrews was clear that Jesus Christ and we have one source, God; therefore, if you are a Christian and believe in God through our sanctifier Jesus Christ, then Christ is not ashamed to call you his brother.
Furthermore, the Bible indicates that Christianity is a community of brotherhood. In this connection, the book of Romans 8:29 terms Jesus as the firstborn son among many brothers. “For those whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be comforted to the image of his son so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”
Theologians teach that God will know you if you establish a relationship with him. Accepting Jesus Christ as your savior and constantly seeking to remain in him so you can be fruitful in Christ. That is basically what is required of a Christian. Therefore, being a Christian who abides by Jesus Christ automatically makes you a brother of Jesus.
If Jesus is the leader of Christianity, does that make him our brother or Father?
It is explicitly clear in the Bible that Jesus Christ is our brother and not Father. Jesus is referred to as the leader of Christianity because it is through him that we acquire salvation, and not because he is the Father. During his teachings on earth, he recognized the Father and noted that he came to do his will (the will of the one who had sent him). Furthermore, enough biblical proof in bible points towards the fact that Jesus is the firstborn brother, not our Father. He is the leader of Christianity as a firstborn son.
What determines brotherhood with Jesus?
What determined brotherhood with Jesus is that we must be born again and God’s will. Jesus taught Nicodemus about spiritual realities by telling him that he must be born again. Furthermore, Jesus is evident in the gospel of Mark 3 that what determines our brotherhood with him is doing the will of the Father, not just believing in the Father. The ultimate will of God is that we can all trust, love, and obey Jesus Christ, who is referred to as the firstborn son among many.
Therefore, to be referred to as Jesus’ brother, we have to only believe in him but also obey him. The scripture tells us that those who say they believe in him ought to walk as he did. This indicates that being a brother of Jesus requires us to walk a righteous life as Jesus did. To be considered Jesus’ brother and escape the wrath of God, we must obey the truth. Jesus says he is the truth, the way, and the life.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.