|"[Jesus] is not ashamed to call them [those who God makes holy] brothers and sisters" |
“One time Jesus entered a house, and the crowds began to gather again. Soon he and his disciples couldn’t even find time to eat. When his family heard what was happening, they tried to take him away. ‘He’s out of his mind,’ they said… Then Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him. They stood outside and sent word for him to come out and talk with them. There was a crowd sitting around Jesus, and someone said, ‘Your mother and your brothers are outside asking for you.’ Jesus replied, ‘Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?’ Then he looked at those around him and said, ‘Look, these are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother’” (Mark 3:20-21, 31-35, NLT).
No doubt Jesus’ family had heard that huge crowds taxed Jesus to the point of exhaustion. Many of us can identify with the expression of love and exasperation that only a family member could voice: “He’s out of his mind.” Jesus’ family was concerned for him, but they missed the point of his ministry. Even those who were closest to Jesus were slow to understand who he was and what he had come to do. Family members are the most difficult people to be a witness for Jesus. They require the most patience. They see us at our worst when our guard is down. Remember that Christ’s family rejected and ridiculed him. Only be strong and keep showing your love to them.
In today’s text, Jesus reminded his family that his ultimate role went far beyond the relationship they shared. Jesus taught his disciples, “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine” (Matthew 10:37). Here he simply showed how the teaching applied to him. Jesus used this moment of human family dynamics to point out that the family of faith goes beyond earthly attachments to eternity.
So, who is Jesus’ family? “Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” Think about this: Not everyone has a brother or sister; not everyone enjoys the opportunity of having loving parents. But God’s family has no orphans; an “only child” in Jesus’ family doesn’t exist. The Bible calls God our Father, and Jesus our Brother and Saviour, and we – if we does the will of God – are God’s family. When we hear God’s Word by faith and by grace put it into practice, we come into an intimate relationship with Jesus. Then because Jesus is our Brother and God now become our Father, all of us are his children. Thus, we’re family. We are not saved into facts or rules or a system of worship or a cult of followers, we are saved into a family. We are not saved and made to change our lives; we are saved and then have our lives transformed. Oh ya, welcome to God’s family, you who does the will of the Father!
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.