Now when they saw him afar off, even before he came near them, they conspired against him to kill him. Then they said to one another, “Look, this dreamer is coming!” (Genesis 37:15-16)
It’s sad to consider that those who are supposed to be the closest to you can be the ones who despise you the most. Such is the case with Joseph’s brothers; they all viewed him as their common enemy and, why — because God had spoken to him through dreams. This makes the case for being careful about who you share your dreams and most intimate thoughts with. It also makes the case for the notion that, just because someone is related to you, they may not be your brother.
Cain and Abel were conceived in the same womb and raised in the same household but one was despised by the other and eventually murdered and why? Cain was jealous of the fact that God had favored his offering over Cain’s. Jospeh’s own father was familiar with the disappointment in knowing that your own flesh and blood hated you and wanted you dead. There are many other such stories in the Bible and just goes to amplify what the Messiah — also despised by His brethren — that our true family is not necessarily determined by blood. When advised that His mother and family were waiting to speak with Him, He said:
“Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:48-50)
Those who have the common bond of being in relationship with the Father through the Son and who are obedient to His Will are those who comprise the family of God. Though we would prefer that our flesh and blood be among those, unfortunately there is no guarantee. Only those who have been bought by the blood of the Messiah and who are following in His footsteps are truly regarded as our brothers and sisters, which explains why we often feel closer to them than some of our own family.
While we certainly don’t want to disassociate ourselves from family, we do need to acknowledge that God’s family is brought together by the blood of the Lamb and not the blood of a man. So for those who despise us because of what we believe, let us pray that they will have an encounter with the One who changes hearts.
Blessings and Shalom,