v 35. Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”
It might appear from this reference that Jesus was somewhat distant from His own earthly family – but not so! In Acts 1:14 we read ‘They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus.‘ It is in the family home that selfishness, idiosyncrasy, ambition and even plain laziness show up most. If anyone is going to see through our weaknesses and double-standards it will be in the family – and for the first 30 years of His life Jesus inhabited ordinary family life. It was His mother and brothers that would have known Him best and seen the ‘real Jesus’, and yet later we find them united in following Him too.
Sure, they first though He was a bit crazy! At the beginning of this reading, we find ‘When his family heard what was happening, they tried to take him away. “He’s out of his mind,” they said. ‘ (v 21) This wasn’t the son and brother that they thought they knew. Over the three years of His Ministry, and then that final few days in Jerusalem, what they saw of Jesus must have gradually shaped their minds until they too became followers.
Here we see what the best kind of relationship with Jesus is like. There must have been the games of the young family, and then the hard work of supporting their mother after the death of her husband. Jesus must have experienced all the everyday events of home life that tied them as a family. And now Jesus tells them that the best relationships are based on knowing and obeying the will of God.
It is possible that you too know something of the reality of such relationships. You might have discovered that in the fellowship life of your local church and Home Group (I sincerely hope you have, because many of one’s best life-affirming friends can be found in such groups.) Before you can really enjoy such relationships with friends around you, it is important to have that upward relationship with Jesus through obeying the will of God. You become one of the Jesus Family when you put your trust in Him for eternal salvation. You then become one of the people to whom Jesus was referring in this verse, giving us the message that to belong to the heavenly family is more significant and precious than to have belonged to His earthly family.
It is this view of ‘family’ that makes Jesus a family Man like no other.