46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”
48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
This teaching can be encouraging to some, but confusing to others. To many people, biological families are a source of security, identity and unconditional love; while for others, they can be the root cause of low self-esteem, anxiety, and all kinds of deep hurts. So, in this passage, Jesus is not denying the importance of familial relationships that are life-giving; indeed, the Bible is full of pro-family teachings, including one of the ten commandments (Honor your father and mother). Instead, Jesus is challenging his followers to remember that all things – even their closest and most cherished relationships – must be put in their proper place. If we prioritize our relationship with God above all, then we are empowered to be better spouses, parents, brothers and sisters. Submitting your life to God and recognizing Christ’s supremacy in your life will not diminish your most valued relationships, but will actually make them more whole. Furthermore, as we find our identity in Christ, our very sense of family will expand to include spiritual brothers and sisters. And having a broader community that offers support, friendship and unconditional love will allow Christ-followers to, in turn, love their biological families even better – with more grace, empathy and wholeheartedness.
Thoughts for the day
- What does this passage tell you about God or Jesus?
- What does this passage tell you about humanity?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- How can you apply this message in an area of your life that needs transformation?
- Is there anyone you think should hear or will benefit from this message? Go and tell them.
Lord we ask you to shield us, our families, our churches, our cities and the nations of the world from the ravages of COVID-19.