23 “May the God who gives peace make you holy in every way.
May He keep your whole being—spirit, soul, and body—
blameless when our Lord Jesus Christ comes.
24 The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do this.”
Paul is talking to us through a prayer over us. In a nutshell, he is asking God to make us “holy.” On this earth, we live far from “holy.” We don’t even have a human model to show us what that would look like! It’s not something we can do out of our own heads. Only God can do that. To become holy would mean that we would look like Jesus, our only example throughout all of the ages of what a holy human would look like…act like…
Be like. We would change in ways that would make us look more like Jesus…a family resemblance to Him.
Do we look like Jesus? Is the family resemblance clear enough to be noticable to the people we’re with? When we are in a gathering of people who have come into God’s Family, it’s not so obvious. Most have similar characteristics. But when we are in a situation where non-believers are the vast majority, does your Family Resemblance show, or do you just blend into the crowd?
You can’t create your own “family resemblance”….it’s just there. So, when you’re simply hanging out in your daily world, do other people see anything that resembles the characteristics of Jesus? A “family resemblance” is a natural part of being in your family. It’s not something you can create.
The first time I visited the desert, I was truly afraid of being identified as a “Christian.” It was a very unwelcome identity in that part of the world. So on practical levels, I seriously tried to blend into their world.
The first day, I met a beautiful young woman who spoke English. As we were becoming acquainted, she unexpectedly leaned in, and asked in a hushed voice, “Are you Christian?” I hesitantly nodded. She whispered, “Tell me!”
I had been careful to give no outward evidence of my faith. No cards, tags, symbols, etc. But the family resemblance had been noted…by someone who had never even been exposed to my Family. It was nothing visible nor verbally identifiable. It was simply part of my Family identityof the Spirit inside. No person can make that happen. We can try to make it apparent on the outside, but that will soon fail. When Christ comes into our lives, the Family Resemblance becomes part of who we are, as a result of Whose we are.
The Spirit within us …the Holy Spirit…has one key evident Characteristic that shows up for others to identify: A strong family likeness to Jesus Christ.