“Dear woman, here is your son; here is your mother.” –John 19:26–27
Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”
Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” (Luke 19:8–10 NLT)
In Japan, there is a practice of adult adoption wherein a male in his twenties or thirties is adopted as a son in order to keep the family business within the family line. This is not an obscure practice. For multiple generations, heads of a number of multinational companies based in Japan have been using adult adoption to ensure their organizations remain in the family without future success being dependent upon a biological heir possessing the necessary business acumen.
For many of us in the West, this practice might seem a bit odd, but many of us have been adopted as adults into a family entirely different from the one we were born into. As followers of Christ, we have been adopted and been made sons and daughters of Abraham, but our adoptions are not tied to how well we can raise quarterly profits, increase market shares, or otherwise earn our place in the family. Rather, our adoptions are for our benefit, not God’s. To put it into similar language that Paul uses in Romans 11, we have been grafted into Abraham’s tree of life, not because we as branches are so abundant on our own, but so that we, through God’s mercy, might move from barrenness to life everlasting. Celebrate God’s merciful act of adopting us into His family, grafting us onto Abraham’s tree so that we might experience the true life that is only found through Jesus.