Family of God

(Mark 3:31-35)

Who are the family of God? Who are those that the Lord sees as his own family? In this section of Mark Jesus tells us who his real family is and for us we gain understanding as to how we can become part of the family of God.

There are two important things to note in this section. First we see that Jesus had a physical family while he was on the earth. At the start of this scripture we see that, “…his mother and brothers came; and standing outside they sent to him and called him.” (Verse 31) Jesus was the son of Mary and supposedly the son of Joseph, although we know that he was born of God and the son of the Most High. After he had been born Mary and Joseph had other children. We know the names of at least four brother and we know also that he had at least two sisters and possibly more. This is shown in the following scripture when the people of his hometown spoke of him. “Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us?” (Matthew 13:55-56) So in a physical sense Jesus had a family on the earth.

But in this section of scripture we see that he shows he also has a spiritual family. He used this occasion when his mother and brothers came to seek him and call him to show there were both a physical family and a family of God. When the crowd told him his mother and brothers were calling him the word says, “And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking around on those who sat about him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother.” (Mark 3:33-35)

Jesus said that it is those who do the will of God are his spiritual family. The will of God as we have seen in my recent posts is to believe in Jesus Christ. It is the will of God that we learn and follow Jesus, that we shun sin and the wicked ways of this world and come to him in faith to seek the ways of righteousness that only come from God.

Was Jesus saying that our earthly family was of no account? Absolutely not. For that would be in opposition to so many other parts of the word of God. First there is one of the Ten Commandments that says, “Honour your father and your mother that your days may be long in the land.” (Exodus 20:12) Paul also wrote, “If any one does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his own family, he has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Timothy 5:8)

But sometimes our earthly families do not build us up but tear us down. Sometimes our physical families may oppose our stand for God and try to take us away from following Jesus. Jesus explains this saying, “For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s foes will be those of his own household.” (Matthew 10:35-36) He is not saying to fight amongst your family, but rather that to follow Jesus will separate you from those who do not follow him and sometimes this may cause separation in families.

The focus of this is shown in the next few verses where he shows we must make the Lord our first priority and not even let our loved ones get between the Lord and us. “He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:37) This is just as he did with Abraham when he tested him by having him offer up his only son Isaac, which at the last minute he gave him a reprieve. We must first seek the kingdom of God and follow Jesus. This is priority number one. Everything else is a distant second to this priority for if we lose our salvation, we lose everything.

When we do the will of God we are the family of God. We become the brothers or sisters of Jesus Christ and of each other as we enter his family in the Spirit. And it is to this spiritual family that he has promised to give the inheritance of eternal life with God.

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