Adoption: Sons


Last week we looked at what adoption was like in Jesus’ day. I made the point that it was often males and that the man went from “slave” to “son”. Some may wonder if we should use such a gender specific word.

When I quote scripture I will often say, “brothers and sisters” or “sons and daughters”. There’s even a translation that adds the female gender to these verses.

However, this masks an incredible truth that we can miss when we get wrapped up in gender equality speech versus seeing the beauty of the original context.

Tim Keller recalls a time when he was talking with a lady who grew up in a culture where women are treated as second-class people. It is a culture where as a girl, with a brother, it is standard practice for the male to receive more material things — more honor — more everything.

One day as the woman was reading the Bible, she was struck and overwhelmed by a truth she had never seen before. Saint Paul wrote that believers are all “sons” of God. At that moment, she realized  — there are no second class citizens in the kingdom of God!


Keep in mind, Paul is writing in a culture that also treated women poorly — as second class citizens. He’s making the clear point that “in Christ” this disappears — “neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female…”

Scandalous truth from a Father who loves us more than we can fathom.

So, can we describe ourselves as “sons and daughters” of God? Sure, but don’t miss the incredible truth of Paul’s message. In Christ, we are one, we are equal, and we all recieve the complete inheritance.

When you combine this with last week’s truth about adoption , you get a powerful picture of what our Father has done for all who believe.


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