I am the eldest son in our family – the “firstborn.” In some cultures (ancient and modern) that brings special position, privilege, power, within the family. Take it from me… not so much in the Bartel family made up of three sons! But in ancient culture there were also pressures and production (responsibilities, if your please) to being the “firstborn.” In this regard the Bible speaks of the rights and responsibilities of the “firstborn” (i.e. the “birthright”).
Jesus holds the position of elder son – the “firstborn” – in God’s family at several levels! He is referred to as the “firstborn among many brothers.” (Romans 8:29-30) His special position, privilege, and power are an incredible blessing to all who have been “born again” as “children of God.” He embraced all of the responsibilities of “firstborn” that bring untold benefit to all of us who are within God’s family!
I read about it his morning during my time of “coffee with the Lord” in Hebrews in my Bible…
“Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest. He was faithful to the one who appointed Him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house… Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house… But Christ is faithful AS THE SON [the “firstborn” son] OVER GOD’S HOUSE. AND WE ARE HIS HOUSE, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory. (From Hebrews 3:1-6 NIV)
So the exhortation and challenge is clear… “Fix your thoughts on Jesus!”… He is our apostle and great high priest – faithful as a Son over God’s household! Everything we enjoy as children of God flows from His power, position and privilege as the “firstborn”! He is the one who completely fulfilled – and fulfills – all the responsibilities of the “firstborn” within the family of God that we benefit from!