December 30, 2019

The Jesus Family

Mark 3:20-34

To all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. . . .

—  John 1:12

I grew up in a large extended family. It’s so large that I don’t know all of my first cousins.

Though most of us love our families, we know there can be times of making mistakes, hurting one another, and dis­agreeing with each other. When conflicts come up, we should try to resolve them. And when we need wisdom, it can help to be able to rely on the family of God, which can offer love and support as well.

Today’s episode took place early in Jesus’ ministry. Jesus was attracting large crowds because of his teaching and healing. His family members had heard some reports, and they thought Jesus might be “out of his mind”—though he wasn’t, of course. When he was told they had come looking for him, he gave what might seem a surprising answer. Jesus began with a question: “Who are my mother and my brothers?” He was not disrespecting his biological family here; he used this as a “teaching moment” for all his listeners—including us. He pointed out a much larger and more important family, the family of God. Then he explained how to become part of this family: “Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

Jesus, God’s Son, invites all of us into his family. And to all who receive him and believe in his name, he gives “the right to become children of God.” Trust in Jesus today as your Lord and Savior, and you will be part of his forever family.

Thank you, Lord, for inviting us to become part of your everlasting family by trusting in Jesus as our Savior and Lord. Amen.

About the author — John Van Schepen

Dr. John Van Schepen is a retired pastor who served churches in Washington, Wisconsin, Indiana, Oregon and California. He and his wife, Willie, have been blessed with five children and several grandchildren.

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