10/14/15 Being a Part of the Family

READING: Matthew 13, Luke 8

TEXTS AND APPLICATION:  These must have been hard words for Mary to hear when she and her sons came to see Jesus. They could not get to Him because of the crowds, and others announced to Him that His family was looking for Him. The combination of Mark and Matthew’s accounts reveals words that surely pierced Mary’s heart:  “Who are My mother and My brothers?” (Mark 3:33) . . . “My mother and my brothers are those who hear and do the word of God” (Luke 8:21). 

If Mary and His family heard these words as, “He doesn’t even know us,” that reality may have convinced them of their concern that He was already out of His mind (Mark 3:21). But, Jesus was hardly out of His mind. Instead, He was teaching them these truths:

  1. The question was not whether Jesus knew His family; it was instead whether they knew Him as the Son of God. Even Mary and her other children would need a Redeemer, and Jesus would expect from them the same repentance and faith He expects from all of us. Their shared bloodline did not eliminate their need for atonement through the shed blood of Jesus. 
  2. Nobody guarantees his relationship with God based on his family of origin, heritage, etc. Only those who do His word (beginning with following Him in repentance and faith) are in God’s family. 
  3. If we claim to be children of God, how we live really does matter. 

In addition, this text points to relationships among the people of God that sometimes are more real and lasting than relationships within our family of origin. Bring together a few believers, and “brother” and “sister” titles can become so much more than terms we use only when we can’t remember each others’ names. We really do become family. 

I am so grateful today for people like Lawrence, Katherine, Dave, Linda, Sonney, Christie, Will, Melissa, Ronnie, Carol, Brandon, Stephanie, Kevin, Bethany, and so many others who have been my Christian family through the years. Brothers are sisters within the family of God — all who follow God daily — are gifts, indeed. 

ACTION STEPS:  Send an email or a note today to someone who has been a special part of your Christian family. Then, make sure you are a genuine brother or sister to someone else today.  

PRAYER: “Thank you, Lord, for drawing me into Your family and giving me a family.” 

TOMORROW’S READING: Matthew 8:14-34, Mark 4-5