There once was a family, with two brothers; one older and one younger and they both related to their father in slightly different ways. The older one had come to the age of maturity well before the younger one and as a result, knew the father in ways that the younger didn’t.
It came to pass one day, that the older brother, seeing that the younger was now reaching the age of maturity, felt it was a fitting time to share matters of the family with him. Pulling his younger brother aside, he said;
“It’s time we sat down and had a talk. I think you’re old enough and mature enough to handle this now.”
“Sure, what’s up?”
“You know how we always tell people about who we are, as sons of our father? Well, there’s a bit more to it. While it is true that we are his sons, what you need to realize is that we’ve both been adopted.”
“What?! What are you talking about?”
“Look, I know this is hard to hear. I’ve had to work through the same thing. Even though he refers to me as his “first born”, I am adopted, just like you are. But, keep in mind, where we’ve come from doesn’t take away from who we are now. But we do need to be honest about it.”
“How come no one has told me this?”
“It’s not a matter of whether someone has told you or not, but whether you are ready to hear it. I “get that”. I can be stiff-necked, too. When our father adopted me, and declared me as his, he cautioned me to remember where I came from and not to get proud, lest I should look down on other people. But the truth is, my father was an Amorite and my father was a Hittite. Yeah, I know…it’s not like I come from great ancestry. The Amorites were stateless nomads and the Hittites were known as ruthless conquerors. There is nothing wholesome about where I came from. But our father, being loving and kind, saw past that. He did not adopt me because the people I came from were numerous or great, he adopted me because he made promises to my ancestors, who he knew and loved. As you know, he is always faithful to what he commits to. He set his love towards me, making me his special treasure, but he also made promises to my ancestors concerning you, and as I just said, you know he is always faithful to what he commits to.”
“What did he say about me?”
“Even before I was adopted, he spoke of blessing ‘the other’, and as time went on, he spoke more and more of you, and his heart towards you. When you were finally adopted, I found it hard to accept, in fact, I was even a little jealous…maybe more than a little bit. I mean, you didn’t look like me, you didn’t talk like me, you didn’t even eat the same food as me! It was hard for me to accept at first, but I’ve come to know you as my brother and because our father loves you, I too have come to love you, despite our differences.”
“Who is my father and mother?”
“Your father was a Greek from Antioch, and your mother was a Roman. In fact, you got your name in Antioch. As was the custom of my ancestors, I was named the eighth day.”
There was a long and difficult silence, as the younger wrestled with what his older brother had just told him.
“Hmmmm…so Father is not my father.”
“No, he is! Despite both of our pasts and all that we came out of, he is your father, and he is my father and we are brothers. Yes, we relate to him in different ways, and to each other in different ways, but we are both equally his kids, and equal as brothers before him. I’m not better than you because he adopted me first, nor are you lessor, because he adopted you later. Where we come from and when we were adopted does not take away from who were are; in fact, it gives us a way to appreciate in an even greater way, his kindness, goodness and faithfulness. Neither of us can look down on the other, because we both know where we came from. This should keep us humble and appreciative. This is why you needed to know this.”
With tears welling up in his eyes, the younger brother replied, “Yeah, I agree.”
Throwing his arms around his younger brother, the older said “We’re family, bro.”
The two embraced like brothers do, and like brothers do, they both wiped the tears from their eyes before the other noticed.