Romans 8: 28-29 (NCV) – We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him.  They are the people he called, because that was his plan. God knew them before he made the world, and he decided that they would be like his Son so that Jesus would be the firstborn of many brothers.

We have heard it hundreds of times.  We, as Christians, are to be like Jesus.  The world should be able to see Jesus in us.  We are children of God.  Perhaps for you, as it has been for me, these words have become cliche.  The punch is gone.  But these truths from God’s Word are there for a reason.  They have meaning beyond passing thoughts.

As I considered verse 29 this morning, the first image in my mind was a bunch of Jesus-like clones.  We are made to be like Him in every way, so that the world is filled with thousands of Jesus’.  Everywhere people look, they see Jesus.  They hear Jesus.  They feel the presence of Jesus.  But somehow the cloning process went wrong.  It is as though each cloning lost some of the essential DNA that would make us identical to Jesus.  Jesus is perfectly sinless.  We are not.  Boom.  Messed up cloning.

Then I realized it isn’t like that at all.  It is more like being from the same stock.  When you see members of the same family, you can see characteristics that are the same.  While they are each individuals, different from the other, there are some things that identify them as being from the same stock…the same family.  They belong to that group.

Being a member of the family of God is like coming from the same stock.  We are all different.  We have individual personalities.  God has given us each gifts and abilities that work together with the others, towards one goal…the return of Christ and His coming kingdom.  But there are certain ways that we talk, behave, think, “walk” that identify us as part of this one group.  We come from the same stock…the family of God.  Our big brother is Jesus, and like all younger siblings, we try to emulate Him. We want to follow in His footsteps.  Thankfully, we can know that they will never go astray.  As long as we follow Him, the world will know that we come from the same stock as Jesus.