As we prepare to celebrate all that Jesus’ birth and coming to “visit” us means, it has been so exciting to learn from Psalm 8:4 and Hebrews 2:6-8. But then, on top of that, to understand more fully the correlation of that little word “visit” and how, being the same word used in James 1:27, it speaks of “visiting” widows and orphans in their affliction. How awesome! But what does this ultimately mean to us?
So much to wrap our minds around, so let’s continue with a few excerpts from Dan Cruver’s writing in his article “True Religion: A Gospel-Centered Look at James 1:27.”
“Hebrews is clear that when the Son of God became man he did not assume a humanity that was untouched by the Fall. To state it positively, the eternal Son assumed a humanity that was subject to decay, pain, misery, suffering, and death. In other words, he took up a humanity that been affected deeply by the Fall; yet he himself was without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Hebrews 2:17 says that the Son was made like us “in every respect.” Why was this the case? In order that he might redeem us from the profound misery of our condition (ie. from our profound affliction) from the inside out. Jesus visited us in our affliction by entering into the very heart of our brokenness in order that he might restore our humanity to its originally intended wholeness. God brought Psalm 8:4 to its climactic fulfillment not by merely meeting our superficial needs but by a real and profound entering into our affliction in order that He might deliver us from it.”
Now, with all this profound truth in mind, what might it mean when the Lord asks us to “visit” orphans in their affliction? Surely it means truly visiting them and helping, however we possibly can, to meet their very important physical and emotional needs. But Mr. Cruver goes on to say, “But if we consider how it is that God entered into our affliction in order to deliver us from it, we must conclude that visiting orphans in their affliction necessarily and ultimately involves adoption.”
And then lastly, he brings out the beautiful significance of the adoption related terminology used in Hebrews 2. “In verse 10, he (the writer of Hebrews) says that it was God’s intention to bring “many sons to glory” through Jesus’ redemptive suffering. God did what He did through Jesus in order to add sons (and daughters) to His family.”
“It is a truly stunning thought that the eternal Son of God became man, suffered, died, and was crowned with glory and honor in order that rebellious sinners might become his brothers!! What are we that God is mindful of us in this way (see Psalm 8:4 again)?"
“Not every believer is called to adopt an orphan, but every believer is called to somehow participate in visiting orphans in their affliction at some level. And what a wonderful calling it is! Adoption is a breathtakingly beautiful way to live out the gospel of Christ among the afflicted. It provides another way for the Church to bring the gospel to those who, like we once were, are without God and hope in this world.”