READING: Numbers 3-4, Mark 3:20-35
“He replied to them, “Who are My mother and My brothers?”
The words had to be hard for Mary to hear. She and Jesus’ brothers had arrived to see him, and the crowd around Jesus informed Him of their arrival. His response, rather than expressing excitement that His family had come, was to ask a question: “He replied to them, ‘Who are My mother and My brothers?’” (Mark 3:33). They already thought He had lost His senses when He was so busy He wasn’t even eating – and His question surely didn’t ease their minds at all.
His answer, though, spoke much to His audience then and now to us: “Whoever does the will of God is My brother and sister and mother” (Mark 3:35). First, Jesus was speaking about relationships that go beyond even earthly family bonds. Family ties are deep (and they meant much in the first-century Jewish world), but the gospel has a way of creating bonds that are beyond comprehension. Somehow, God takes people from different backgrounds, ethnicities, and cultures, and He makes us “brothers” and “sisters” in a way the world cannot understand. In fact, I could write all day about the men and women who have become genuine family to me over the years of my Christian walk. Many would give their life for me, and I would do the same for them.
Second, those who are members of this family, by their very inclusion among the brothers and sisters, do the will of God who unites them. That group is made up of “whoever” follows Him, but all the “whoevers” must make the same commitment: follow God fully. Sometimes that kind of obedience necessitates leaving one’s family to take the gospel to the nations. At all times, it requires denying oneself and following Him. Even Mary and her other children would need to make the choice to follow Jesus, for their earthly connection to Him was not sufficient to overcome their sin problem; they, too, would need to do His will.
Many years ago, we sang these words, often at the end of a church service: “I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God.” I am indeed happy to be in His family, and I pray that I live accordingly.
- Thank God for the men and women in your life who have truly become family to you.
- Watch today for other believers who don’t seem to “fit in” with the family. Reach out to them.
PRAYER: “Thank You, God, for Your family. Help me, as Your child, to do Your will fully.”
TOMORROW'S READING: Numbers 5-6, Mark 4:1-20