My wife and I were sitting together in the DMV the other day waiting to get our driver’s license renewed. As we waited, we noticed three large pictures on the wall. Each picture depicted the various members of each of three families of fish: the jack family, the grouper family and the snapper family.
We were trying to notice the various distinctions of each fish family. We agreed that it seemed there was somewhat of a family resemblance among those three species of fish. One can identify distinctive traits within a human family as well. Perhaps the nose or the mouth has a unique shape. Maybe a certain hair color or eye color gets passed on to those who are born into your family.
Have you ever wondered, what are the distinctive marks of members in the family of God? What can others see in us as Christ followers that would be a family resemblance? Well it certainly wouldn’t be our color, or size, or our physical features. The economic status of believers is all different, as well as our social, geographical and national origins. We speak different languages, we salute different flags and we dress in different clothing. So what is our family resemblance?
Jesus gave us the answer to what should mark us out as believers in John 13:34,35: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Loving one another should be the family resemblance of disciples of Jesus Christ. A watching world should be able to see Jesus in us by our display of love in the family. He loved us so much and demonstrated that love by giving Himself on the cross. The caring environment, the encouraging atmosphere, and the loving service of one another should be what others see in us.
I wonder how clearly the family resemblance can be seen in our lives. Are we known as His disciples by our love?
Pastor Jim Stultz is with Peace River Baptist Church.