Let’s begin by reading Hebrews 2:11, “For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren.” 

The one who sanctifies (makes holy) is the Lord Jesus.  Those who are sanctified (made holy) are those who believe in Him.  We are one with Him.  We are one in Him.  This was the Lord’s desire for us.  We read the Lord’s words in John 17:21, “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”  We are one in family, one in Spirit, one Father, one nature, etc. 

Because of His own work in saving and sanctifying us, the Lord is not ashamed of us, although we are lowly and far less than He.  In fact, He identifies Himself with us.  He calls us His brethren, or brothers and sisters.  We find this precious thought in other places in the Word where He refers to us as His brethren.

  • Psalm 22:22, “I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.”
  • Romans 8:29, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
  • Matthew 12:49, “And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!”
  • Psalm 122:8, “For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee.” 

However, is it proper to refer to the Lord as our brother?  Let us read Matthew 1:21, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”  At birth, the Lord was officially named Jesus.  Obviously, in all his childhood and young adult life, he was called Jesus by his family and those who knew Him.  Yet, we do not have one instance in the Bible where we see any of His disciples calling Him Jesus. 

Rather than call Him by His common name (Jesus), we see others addressing Him with reverential terms:

Lord (Matthew 8:25), Master (Matthew 8:19), Rabbi (John 1:49), Emmanuel (Matthew 1:23), Christ (Luke 9:20) and God (John 20:28).  Men addressed the Lord in a way that reflected the truth of who He is.  In the same manner, although the Lord calls us His brethren, we never see anyone refer to the Lord as brother.  The names by which Jesus was referred were names and titles of respect and holiness.  Indeed, the One who is “the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords” (1 Timothy 6:15) should be spoken of respectfully, not commonly.  Let us consider the words of the Lord to Mary Magdalene after His resurrection.  John 20:17 tells us, “Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” Notice that the Lord did not refer to OUR Father and OUR God.  No, he separated Himself because of who He is…He is the Lord Jesus Christ, the very Son of God.  He speaks of those who are His brethren, but His words indicate that He is special, He is above us, He is Lord.  We do well to always give Him that separated and special place.  He is our Lord, our Savior, our Redeemer, etc.  (453.2)