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Are You Part of the Family of Jesus?

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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Jesus replied, “My mother and my brothers are all those who hear God’s word and obey it.”

Luke 8:21

Luke 8:19-21 provides the context for a provocative saying of Jesus. At some point during his ministry, Jesus was teaching in a home or other building. The crowds pressed in, leaving no room for any other people to draw near to Jesus. Then, unexpectedly, Jesus’ mother and brothers came so see him. But they were not able to do so because of the crowd. So, somebody told Jesus “Your mother and your brothers are outside, and they want to see you” (8:20).

Jesus lived in a culture that deeply valued family. Thus, everybody gathered around Jesus would have expected him to attend to his mother and brothers, either by going outside to meet them or asking for some of the crowd to make room. But Jesus used this occasion to say something that would have shocked his listeners: “My mother and my brothers are those who hear God’s word and obey it” (8:21). Jesus was saying that the bonds of fellowship in the hearing and doing of God’s Word are even more important than the bonds of family. That would not have increased Jesus’ popularity, either with his family or with most of the crowd, though it would have encouraged those among his followers who had left their families in order to join his kingdom ministry.

The dominant culture of America is not like that of Jesus, though you can find “family first” subcultures, especially among certain ethnic groups. If anything, we can be so cut off from our families that we might need encouragement to honor our parents and love our siblings by spending some time with them.

Nevertheless, the words of Jesus in Luke 8:21 challenge us to take a good look at our relationships with our fellow Christians. So I would encourage you to consider the following questions.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Do you value your relationships with your brothers and sisters in Christ appropriately, seeing them as if they were your family? Are these relationships centered in a common commitment to and response to God’s Word? Or do you simply get together with other Christians because you like each other? Do your relationships with other Christians help you to hear and obey God’s Word? How does Scripture impact your personal family life?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank you for the privilege and honor of being one of your brothers. I’d be happy just to be your follower, your servant. But you have chosen to value me as if I were part of your own family. Thank you.

I must confess, though, how easy it is for me to live my life disconnected from the rest of your family, my brothers and sisters in Christ. Forgive me for failing to honor your family as I should. Help me to find ways to live in fellowship with those who seek to hear and obey your Word. Amen.

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