“Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd. 20 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.” 21 He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.” Luke 8.19-21
Family matters, they really do. Most friends and colleagues come and go over the years, some stay, but family almost always remains, at least in my case. My wife Lane and I have a big family. She has three siblings and I have just one, but most of those siblings have spouses, and children, and some of those children have spouses and some babies on the way. When you begin to look around, you notice a growing clan of family members who are wonderful people and who will be with us for life, the Lord willing!
Family mattered to Jesus. This passage is not him saying, “my mother and brothers” don’t concern me. Not at all. Jesus is simply saying those who hear God’s word and put it into practice are my family. Is he saying his actual mothers and brothers were not his family? Of course not. But he was talking about a new family of mothers, brothers, fathers and sisters of the faith. For those who “hear God’s word” and “put it into practice” a new family has begun.
The Christian faith produces a Christian family of love, care, support and compassion. This is just like a normal, healthy, functioning family. Are all families healthy? No. Are all functional? Not on your life. But can the ideal be our goal? Can the essence of a Christ-like family be our desire for our original families? Absolutely.
I am thankful for my family, for my wife, my kids, my parents, my in laws, my cousins. I am thankful for grandparents who have gone before me, and those who went before them. I am thankful for a legacy of love, of ministry, of compassion and generosity. I’m also thankful for my faith family, for fathers and mothers in the faith, people whom I disciple, little brothers and sisters whom I might encourage and strengthen as they learn to walk with the Lord. Jesus wasn’t abandoning his own mother and brothers, rather, I believe he was affirming all who believe as God’s larger faith family.
Do you believe? Have you heard God’s word? Have you believed? Are you in God’s family?
“Come Lord Jesus. Help me find your power and presence in my life. Help me know the strength of your love and the compassion in your voice. Fill me with your faith, help me know your grace, call me forth to repentance. I love you Lord and thank you for your love. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen