“My own flesh and blood!” This is how many speak of their own family; those who live together and produce children and grandchildren and share many intimate experiences because of their familial relationships. There is a dynamic, powerful, natural link that binds these human beings together like nothing else. Of course, there is breakdown in a sinful world where even the Bible speaks of children turning on parents and parents doing violence to their own children. We see all too much evidence of this horrendous evil in our society, and all the more as the return of Christ draws near. Nevertheless, by God’s design, in most situations we are proud of our family, and proud to speak of our family name. We come to each others’ defense and aid. The bond of our own “flesh and blood” is strong indeed!
“Flesh and blood” also speaks of humanity in general. Jesus, God with us, took on flesh and blood in becoming man. We are creatures who are “flesh and blood,” as opposed to a just as real spiritual world, which the Apostle Paul describes in Ephesians 6 for example. Flesh and blood is perishable as we see very graphically in bloody accidents and on battlefields. When the life-blood flows out, it leaves lifeless flesh, which in turn decomposes in the grave. Flesh and blood together are necessary to sustain physical life!
Blood is the same color in all human beings; however, the flesh takes on many hues throughout the human race. Just as we are proud of our own families, we take pride in our race, reflected in the hues of our skin, and also distinguished by the cultural characteristics that mark races; not only because of skin color, but also languages, tribes and nations. God has created a veritable rainbow of races and cultures throughout His world. The Bible tells us very clearly that in this regard God is not a respecter of persons. This is emphasized in Jesus’ words above; “The flesh counts for nothing!” This truth should impact the formation of your world view; how you see the world, how you see yourself, and how you see God. It should have a powerful impact on what you teach your children; not only in how they see themselves, but also how they see all of humanity under the sun.
What counts in God’s eyes, what profits you for eternity, not only in this life, but the next, is not the family you come from, not the greatness of your family name, not the color of your skin, but from God’s own mouth, what counts and what matters is where God’s Spirit dwells! “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing!” If you can say with godly pride, my parents led me to Christ, the Spirit entered my life through their nurture, the Spirit ruled in our home, then and only then is the family worthy of receiving true praise; along with a humility of spirit recognizing that but for the grace of God you too would go the way of the lost world.
Neither family, nor race should receive your praise, nor your willingness to follow and support, OVER God’s commandments and words simply because of being your family or race. God is your first love always, and no other gods come before your devotion and obedience to Him. The presence of God’s Spirit observed in the upholding of the commandments and righteousness of God as revealed in His Word, determines who and when the true Christian supports and follows. The genuine success of any parent, the success of any flesh and blood family, rests in whether or not the Spirit of God is present in the lives of parents and children. “Where the Spirit of God is, there is life! The flesh counts for nothing!” Work to be a family, a person, where the Spirit of God lives. This is what counts!
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