Friday, January 6, 2012

Your Family

So stirring are the words of Jesus. Through the years I have been impacted many times by how different is his perspective than our own - and certainly than the religious crowd of his day. (That is why Philip Yancey called his personal study of the gospels The Jesus I Never Knew.)

Many times his perspective challenges and cuts through the natural thought-processes of our day. So it is in Luke 8. Jesus has been ministering and generating crowds. For some reason unknown to us, his mother and brothers wanted to see Jesus to talk with him. Now remember, this is not a reprobate or a Pharisee - this is Mary of whom we just thought a lot about during December. Gentle, sweet Mary.

So Mary and the boys can't get into the house where Jesus is due to the crowd, so they send word through someone else (maybe they passed a note - I don't think they could have texted). And someone tells Jesus, Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you (20).

Jesus then takes the opportunity to teach a kingdom principle. He uses the situation not to answer as they expected, but instead to share some of His thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9; Psalm 139:17). He simply replies, My mother and brothers are those who hear God's word and put it into practice.

That's a mouthful in one sentence. Coming off of the Christmas season, you have probably had time with your blood family. You may have seen aunts, cousins, grandparents, grandchildren, etc. I enjoy sending and receiving cards from extended family members in December that I may not see or hear from the rest of the year.

No doubt the Bible says that our family of origin is important. The Bible is clear that, as much as it depends on us, we should strive to honor our parents. Sometimes in the New Testament, families would come to faith together.

However, Jesus states a fresh kingdom principle - in God''s eyes our family are those people who accept God's Word and obey it - people who follow Jesus. The Bible states that in heaven, we will not be married - we won't be connected in the same family ties that we are on earth. I don't think that means that we won't know those people in a special way, but we will be bound by something greater than biological blood and genes. We will be bound by the blood of Jesus Christ - our elder brother and the firstborn among many.

It also should challenge us to reach out and include members of the body of Christ who may not have a lot of extended family members. We need to bring them into the party and treat them as the family members they are to us - part of the family of Jesus.

How are you doing relating to your spiritual family?

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