Jesus My Brother & Butch Cassidy
“A vast difference indeed there is between the respective foundations of the relation; he is Christ’s Father by eternal generation, ours by a gracious adoption; yet even this warrants us to call him, as Christ did, Abba, Father. This gives a reason why Christ called them brethren, because his Father was their Father.” – John 20:17 – Matthew Henry
Growing up in Utah had advantages I still cherish even though I’ve since denounced the belief system. The scenery is drop dead gorgeous and the mountains turn colors as the sun moves overhead. I spent countless weekends with my paternal grandmother who had a passion for driving all over Utah. Our favorite fishing hole was in Thistle (now non-existent and underwater) and our favorite place to pick fruit was from the family’s peach orchards in Springfield and Spanish Fork.
Two of the most memorable weekends I spent with Grandma Tressa were the times she took me down to Circleville and Beaver to visit my Aunt Lula. Lula had some great stories to share with anyone who would listen, and those memories were filled with stories about her parents (devout Mormons) and 12 other siblings, including her brother, Robert LeRoy Parker; aka, Butch Cassidy (known as Roy to family members). I instinctively knew even in elementary school her experiences were something I’d be using later in life.
Back in the mid ‘70’s she ended up writing a book called “Butch Cassidy, My Brother”, written after the famous Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid movie came out in ‘69. In her book she recounted the stories of her brother as a child, the relationship she had with him, his relationship with the rest of the family and his law breaking escapades. Her book has always made me think of the relationship I had as a Mormon with Jesus who I referred to at that time as “my elder brother”. He was someone I knew played an integral part in the family, but truly knowing him was akin to having a relationship with a buzz saw.
What is your relationship like with Him? My aunt Lula didn’t know Butch Cassidy very well because of an age difference, and as a Mormon I used to put Jesus into that same category. Because I had never seen Him, I would never know Him. He was a mystical figure that couldn’t be touched. I always thought I had to be absolutely perfect just as He was. The lofty goals were set way too high and purposefully so by Church leaders.
My main focus as a Mormon became more about the work I had to do for salvation and making sure I attended meetings to learn about Joseph Smith. I knew more about Joseph than Jesus and the older I got the more confused I became. The biggest discovery I made when I left Mormonism is that the more I read the Bible, the less confused I was. Things began making sense and I learned more about Jesus than I ever imagined I could. He became a real person, not only in an historical sense, but a personal one as well.
The Bible taught me Jesus and Lucifer weren’t brothers. It taught me that Jesus is God incarnate, He is the creator of all things, and wasn’t sexually begotten in heaven before the earth was, nor was He sexually begotten through a relationship between God and Mary. Everything I knew about Him was wrong except for where He lived – Israel.
The truth is that Jesus is our brother but only because we’ve been adopted into the family of God. Before we accept Jesus into our hearts as our Redeemer we belong to another family and that is of the devil; there are only two clans you can belong to my friend.
Jesus is the Kinsman Redeemer because He hung on that cross. Whether you choose to accept that or not isn’t relevant to His decision. He did it without your answer because that is what God demanded as a price for sin. Through His sacrifice we become part of His family as it says in Hebrews 2:11-12.
“For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.“
Your relationship with Jesus can be as real as your relationship is with your own loved one today. If you believe He actually lived, believe His words in the Bible as it states in Hebrews 11:6. Also know that He knew about and loved us individually long before we knew or loved Him.
“We love him, because he first loved us” – 1 John 4:19
He already knows you, knows your heart and wants to hear from you! Romans 5:8 says;
“But God commandeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”.
He’s not waiting for you to already be perfect, He did the work without your perfection. My relationship with Him now is stronger even than that of my own blood brothers ever was or what Lula could’ve ever had with her brother “Butch”.
With Love in Christ;