Jesus’ Mother and Brothers and Your Family and My Family

Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd.

And he was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you.”

But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.” ’

Luke 8:19–21

We know from other gospels that sometimes Jesus brothers weren’t the most supportive of His life. Once they were even sent out to bring Him home like He had lost His mind. This might be that time.

The big truth in here is the promise Jesus makes. What if it’s true?

“My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”

Imagine that. Hearing and doing brings us into a family. That’s not far fetched. When I married my wife, I was taken into a huge family full of traditions, expectations, care, support, history, and a shared view of the future.

When we hear and do what God says, the way Jesus said, then we are brought into God’s family. We take on God’s history, traditions, expectations, care, support, and His family’s view of the future!

What is more, we step from one level of relationships with others into a new relationship with others. We may live a life of trying to get things out of other people, or to gain our own advantage. When we are in Christ, however, we have already achieved all that He is. We already have every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus, so there is no longer a need for manipulative relationships.

Relationships in the kingdom of Heaven are closer than any family relationships. It doesn’t mean we dis on our families. Other important parts of scripture talk about honoring your mother and your father, and caring for your family when they are in need.

But the point Jesus is driving home here is this: There are bigger things than family. There are greater ties than heredity. God’s words are our life and breath. Whatever part of our identity we got from our family is only good if it points us toward Jesus. If it doesn’t, we need to leave those bits behind.

As all of these things go, we have to do it in humility and love. When I was a new Christian, I had zeal without knowledge. I was a judgmental jerk to my parents and the religious tradition they raised me in. They were doing the best they knew how to do and I threw dirt all over it.

I don’t have enough room here to detail the damage to the Kingdom of Heaven that did. Worthless!

20 years of mercy, humility, and maturity later — my dad would text me at 3am to tell me what he “and Jesus were talking about and your boy Levi…” And his comments about “what Jesus said” were encouragingly accurate.

The skills of being a father that were taken away by sin were returned as -in Christ- he began to act like my brother.

So we don’t throw away our parents and siblings because they don’t do God’s will, but instead we do God’s will and gain Jesus as our brother. And in time, we might gain even more family than we could have ever imagined.

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