93. Family

Jesus’ mother and brothers want to see him but they can’t get to him through the crowd. When he hears that they are here to see him, he responds in an interesting way.

Luke 8:19-21

Then Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they couldn’t get to him because of the crowd. Someone told Jesus, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, and they want to see you.”

Jesus replied, “My mother and my brothers are all those who hear God’s word and obey it.”

Reflect

Jesus was teaching, and his mother and brothers pitched up to try and speak to him. However, they couldn’t get near him because of the crowd. When someone told Jesus about them, he replied that his family consisted of those who heard and responded to his message.

At first, this response from Jesus seems rude and totally out of character. However, Jesus wasn’t shunning his mother and brothers, but using the situation to backup and illustrate a point he was making – that the most important thing anyone could do was to hear and respond to his message. For when they did this, they’d become part of the wider family and a member of the Kingdom of God.

When you become a Christian, you become part of a world-wide family. It’s a diverse family from every tribe and nation, speaking every language, each with its own customs and ways. These Christians are gathered into local churches – groups or communities of Jesus’ followers – that work out their mission, to reflect the light of Jesus to the world, in their network or geographical location.

Because Christians are family, they sometimes even call each other ‘brother’ or ‘sister’. This is to recognise that they’ve both heard and responded to Jesus. But it doesn’t mean that Christians will always see eye-to-eye. Christians aren’t perfect! There’s bickering and fall-out in any family, but it’s the fact that they’re family that keeps them together. In the same way, when Christians fall-out or bicker, it’s Jesus who draws them back to peace and reconciliation. It’s Jesus that encourages them to forgive and make-up.

Do

Today, think about the Christians you’re networked with. Pick one and thank God for them. Decide how you will encourage them in their walk with God.

Pray

Holy God
Thank you that I’m your child
and part of the family of God.
Thank you for my brothers and sisters in Jesus
and for the encouragement they are to me.
Help me find my place in your church,
that with my Christian extended family,
we might make a difference for you in the world.
This day and for ever.
Amen.

Think

How can Christians from different cultures, or with different opinions and styles, join together with God’s mission in the world without falling out or bickering?