April 20, 2006

Who Are Jesus' Brothers and Sisters? (4)

Luke 15:11-32

Make disciples of all nations, baptizing them ... and teaching them ... Matthew 28:19-20


The Christian church must carefully consider the question Who are Jesus' brothers and sisters? as it takes part in the privilege of sharing in God's great worldwide mission.

As members of the church, we are to preach the gospel to every nation, seeking to gather all God's children into the Father's house. Central to this great commission is caring for the hurting, to whom we offer a cup of cold water in Jesus' name.

At the very least, we are obligated to treat all people as potential brothers and sisters of Jesus. After all, anyone with whom we come into contact may be God's foreordained child. If so, that person will certainly someday respond positively to the gospel of Christ.

But perhaps we can do better than that. It's true that in a special sense God is the Father of all who believe (John 1:12; Romans 8:15-16). And in another sense, as fellow creatures created in God's image, we are all "God's offspring," as Paul puts it in Acts 17:29.

Jesus' great commission calls us to seek out the Lord's lost sons and daughters in this world and invite them back into their heavenly Father's home. As we do, let's make sure we always embrace and welcome those who are poor and needy, for in doing so we model Jesus' love to all and show that God offers his grace to all.

May your church, Lord Jesus, have a mind for missions and a heart for the hurting as it searches out every last one of your brothers and sisters and invites them home. Amen.

About the author — H. David Schuringa

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