Monday, April 21, 2014

Who is Jesus' Mother and Brothers? (A Reflection on Mark 3:31-35)

Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. They stood outside the house and sent in a message,
 asking for him. A crowd was sitting around Jesus, and they said to him,
Look, your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, and they want you.’”
(Mark 3:31-32, GNB).

I think His family was still there when they first “set out to take charge of him” (Mark 3:20-21). They probably had heard the teachers of the Law’s accusations against Jesus, and thus, added more to their concerns for Him. So they “sent in a message, asking for him” because a great “crowd was sitting around Jesus.” Some commentaries suggest that Jesus’ family was tried to identify themselves with Jesus now that He is famous… I doubt strongly. They really care but they don’t know what they do. They also misjudged and misunderstood Him like the teachers of the Law. They not just “stood outside the house” – they are the outsiders.

Jesus answered, ‘Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?’
He looked at the people sitting around him and said,
Look! Here is my mother and my brothers!
Whoever does what God wants is my brother, my sister, my mother.’” (Mark 3:33-35, GNB).

I imagine when the messenger brought the news to Jesus that His family was standing outside the house and seeking after Him, I heard Jesus replied with a mild rebuke. The messenger, the people and including some of us as well, I assume, thought that external relationship is what make us related to Christ. Jesus replied was the other way round: “Whoever does what God wants is my brother, my sister, my mother.” It was time for His immediate family to learn the new relationship that must bind them to Him. The relationship was (and is) no more based on flesh and blood. It is spiritual and inward, not outward and automatic.

To be Jesus’ Family – The Kingdom Family – one must “does what God wants” or “does the will of God” (ESV) or by obedience to God’s will. The knowledge of God is inadequate. It must be accompanied by obedience. Faith without actions is dead (see James 2:14-26). Do you want to be Jesus’ brother, sister or mother? Do the will of God. But what is God’s will? To find the answer to this all-important question requires us of our time and energy to find it for ourselves. It’s a lifetime pursuit where God will guide us through. After all, to know and to do the will of God is part of the journey of becoming God’s sons and daughters. Just keep in mind that it is God’s will for you and me to know His will. My suggestion is first start with the most obvious one; it is God’s will for us to have a constant relationship with Jesus Christ and to obey His Word.
This is the first step.

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