46While he was still speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers were standing outside, wanting to speak to him. 47Someone told him, “Look, your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” 48But to the one who had told him this, Jesus replied, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49And pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 50For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
These words in Matthew 12 draw us into a new world created by Jesus. Was he literally denying his Mom and his siblings? Or was Jesus opening us up to a new way of being in the world? I believe it’s the latter.
I hope the safest harbor each of us originally knew was our own family. I hope the place we originally found the most nurture was our own family. I hope the place where we originally experienced the most growth into being the best person we can be was in our own family.
Jesus uses this shared ideal to point to something EVEN GREATER.
In following Jesus there is a family that is even more secure, even more nurturing, even more transforming than the fleshly families we (hopefully) know. There is the spiritual family of God. I strive to live there.
I don’t know about you, but some days this world seems to beat me down. Then I remember that I’m a “family of God” person. I’m surrounded by the wisdom of others, the love of others, the support of others, the prayers of others, the care of others, the help of others, the forgiveness of others, the encouragement of others, the kindness of others, the grace of others, the faith of others, and much, much more.
We are connected by our sharing of (and in) Christ. Strive to live there.
When you think about it, my brothers and sisters, our family is literally held together by Jesus. The point of Jesus’ words was not to deny his Mom and siblings; rather, I think the point was to claim us into HIS family in a profoundly wonderful way. Seriously, can it get any better than that? As for me and my family, we will follow the LORD. Strive with me to live there.
It changes everything.