Have you ever feared doing something that would make your family ashamed of you? More than the trouble you’d get in if you were caught, or even more than your own embarrassment, you dreaded making them ashamed? Or maybe you’ve had a family member who did something you were ashamed of. Something where you didn’t want to admit you were related. Or avoided being seen in public with them.
On the other side of the same coin, there are parents who’ve been known to disown their kids. Top ranking reasons are religion, relationships, or moral failure. This disassociation isn’t always from embarrassment, but genuine shame.
In ancient shame cultures, it wasn’t necessarily from behaving poorly that people shunned you. Their disdain wasn’t a reaction that could be controlled by the person afflicted by another’s shame. For it may have been merely because of the tribe a person was born into. Or a family’s economic standing. Or an individual’s education. Poor health, like leprosy. Or by trade, like that of a shepherd or a tax collector.
Enter Jesus—Who brings a solution to shame. And redeemed family.
There’s wonderfully good news for those in Christ! Jesus is not ashamed of us.
For He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source.
That is why He is not ashamed to call them brothers (Heb 2:11)
Even after He was betrayed by His closest disciples and friends, after He endured horrific crucifixion, and was miraculously raised back to life, still Jesus said, “Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me” (Matt 28:10). Even then, He was not ashamed to call them brothers.
Jesus, Holy God Incarnate, knows our sin—and suffered immensely because of it—but He calls us brothers . . . unashamed. And He continues to sanctify us (Heb 2:11)—so we have hope to grow into the name.
Because He, the Third Person of the Godhead, took on humanity for our sake, in obedience to the will of the Father, further affirms His lack of shame to admit we are one of the family.
But what does that mean for those of us in that family?
Those united with Christ, who belong to Him, are to love and forgive. It was for reconciliation and restoration He came. No one has committed a greater sin against me than that committed against Him. And yet, He is not ashamed. He is merciful and faithful. So, what does that say about how I should view the transgressions of others?
Hebrews 2:12 quotes Jesus as saying (from the Psalms), “I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.” He stands before the assembly and calls us family. Should we, therefore, not be ashamed of one another? And also speak honorably of one another in the congregation?
If you remain distant because you think He’s ashamed of you, well, don’t. Run to Him. He is closer than any other—He is your Savior . . . Redeemer . . . Brother.
So, you don’t have to hide from Him (as Adam and Eve covered their nakedness from feelings of shame). He is not ashamed of us. He has covered our nakedness and removed our shame. He has brought us into God’s eternal family, where He now intercedes for us (Heb 7:25). He is bringing us to glory (Heb 2:10).