Adoption–the Chance to Change the World

The world is grieving the death of perhaps the greatest creative genius of our time, Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple computers.  His list of accomplishments is mind-boggling:

•    He made computers accessible to non-technical people.
•    He reinvented the music industry with the iPod and iTunes.
•    He revitalized animation with Pixar.
•    He reinvented the personal communications industry with iPhone.
•    He changing the way we consume media with iPad.
•    He changed the way software and hardware is sold.
•    He forever altered the language of computer interfaces.
•    He built Apple into the second-most valuable company in the world.

What many of us do not know is his parents, Clara and Paul Jobs, adopted Steve as a baby.  Adoptee and follower of Christ, Ryan Scott Bomberger, reminds us of the powerful act of adoption:  “No matter the perceived world success of an adoptee, adoption is a loving act that transforms, not only the life of the child, but the entire family.  And sometimes the world.”

The divine parallel is inescapable … there is no Christianity without adoption!  The Apostle John knew this when talking about people receiving Christ, he says Christ “gave them the power to become children of God.”
Paul, too, uses the image of adoption repeatedly in his letters to the churches.  To the Ephesians he writes: “[God] chose us in Christ … He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ …” (1:4-5).  He tells the Romans that adoption leads believers to being “heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17).

In Paul’s day, being adopted included a release for the adoptee from any obligations attached while in the birth family.  For example, any debts owed by the adoptee were canceled upon entrance into the adoptive family.  The adoptive father became, in every significant sense, the real father. 

In spiritual words, the cancellation of sin’s penalty (as the angel told Joseph, Jesus “will save his people from their sins”) and becoming a real child of God, in line to receive a full portion of the Father’s kingdom.

Fortunately, adoption into God’s family is not based on our being perfect children.  Sad to say, but most children’s services agencies have plenty of kids available, but some are older, some are nonwhite, some have special needs, and there is no competition for them.  Some of them will remain with children’s services until they are adults.  In God’s family, however, there are no un-adoptables. “To all who received him … he gave the power to become children of God.”

Loving parents adopted Steve Jobs and he became a creative genius who changed the world, as we know it.  Our heavenly Father wants to adopt us so we can become “children of God” and yes, change our world, as we know it. 

After over three decades of managing and motivating people in the local church as a pastor, I now spend my waking hours heralding the call for living in redemptive, reconciled relationships. I simply call them “stay in the room” relationships.