God’s Family   Leave a comment

I have one wife, three sons, parents, one sister, no brothers, and scores of extended family members.  While some of us are much closer than others, it is a typical small family to which I belong.  I love them dearly and they love me.

Jesus had an earthly family too.  I guess that we should refer to his siblings as half-brothers and half-sisters since only He had the heavenly Father.  Anyway, he had been preaching and teaching for a good while and in many places, but on this particular day his biological family arrived and asked to see him.

When I get a call from “back home” in Ohio, I can’t wait to get the phone into my hands so that I can get caught up with the family I had to leave behind to pursue the call to ministry.  We talk, laugh and share the events of our lives in order to not become disconnected with one another.  These feelings of love are expressed even more so when visits are made.  There are hugs, kisses, more hugs, sharing, smiles and even tears.  We are family, and love rules.

Jesus was visited by his mother and brothers and was told of their presence.  His response is shocking. 

“Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came up to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd.  Someone told him, ‘Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.’  He replied, ‘My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.’” Luke 8:19-21, NIV.

It is quite unfortunate that each of the synoptic gospels tell basically the same story in the same manner and nobody mentions whether or not he actually went to see him in spite of these, his first words.  I would like to think that he continued the lesson briefly and then went outside to hug and kiss and smile and share and laugh and all that gooey family stuff.  I think that is what happened, but I’ll never know until I get to ask Jesus when I see him.

I wish that was all that really bothered me about this text.

What bothers me the most is the feeling I get inside every time I don’t live my life in such a manner that Jesus would call me “brother.”  It is in those times of either weakness or pride that I do my best sinning.  Either I am too weak to fight the temptations or I am too strong to need God’s help.  It’s the same way with you.

Jesus wants to consider you as part of his family, and accepting him into your heart with the forgiveness of sins secures that.  But our continued shortcomings make us seem like distant relatives to him.  I mentioned that I have countless extended family members – people I haven’t contacted or been contacted by for years.  This is quite disappointing.  Imagine Jesus’ disappointment in us.

I wish that I could live a sinless life and be so close to the Lord that there would never be an opportunity for me to let him down.  I strive to do this as we all should.  Understand this, when we are living our lives in harmony with the Lord, we are considered as close family members.  When we are busy doing the things that go against his holy word and will, we’re like those distant cousins nobody has heard from for all these years.

As a member of God’s family, how close a relative are you today?

 

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