Let’s read Matthew 12:46-50: “While He was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. Someone said to Him, ‘Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You.’ But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, ‘Who is My mother and who are my brothers?’ And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, ‘Behold My mother and My brother! For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother’” (NASB).

There is a wonderful lesson for us in this passage and the lesson is this: The “natural relationship” we have with our parents, brothers or sisters is not as important as the “spiritual relationship” we have with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and thus we should never allow our earthly family members to keep us from doing the will of God by serving those in the family of God. This will be seen more clearly if we look at Mark 3:20-21, “And again a crowd comes together, so that they cannot even eat bread. And His relatives having heard of it went out to lay hold on Him, for they said, He is out of His mind” (DARBY). This scene describes what Mary and Jesus’ brothers saw when they arrived. They learned from other relatives that Jesus was being kept so busy by the crowd that gathered around Him that He wasn’t even able to eat. They thought it was affecting His mental health so they tried to persuade Him to withdraw from the multitudes. Mary and His brothers were just as concerned so they decided to speak to Him, hoping they could reason with Him and convince Him to give up His religious fanaticism. But Jesus was not suffering from a mental disorder, nor was He a religious fanatic. He was doing the will God by meeting the spiritual needs of others and He would not allow His earthly family to prevent Him from serving His heavenly Father in this way.

I would add that Jesus was NOT being disrespectful to His mother and brothers, and He did not disown them either. He was simply letting them know that “earthy ties” were not as important as “spiritual ties.” I’m sure there were some in the crowd who thought Jesus was not showing love and respect to His mother and brothers, but what they failed to see was the love and respect He was manifesting for His heavenly Father. We too, as believers, may be misjudged at times when we seek to put the Lord before our earthly family members. Jesus said in Luke 14:26, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, cannot be My disciple” (NKJV). In essence, Jesus was saying we must be willing to put Him first in our lives and that at times it may appear that we hate our family. He was NOT teaching, in this verse, that we are to literally hate our family, but that “our love for Christ must be so great that all other loves look like hatred BY COMPARISON.”

I trust we will take this lesson to heart, dear fellow-believer. May our love for our blessed Savior be so real that we are willing to follow Him wherever He leads us. May we also realize that the “family of God” is on a much higher plane than the “earthly family” into which we were born. And may we never allow our earthly family to hinder us in serving the Lord and His people, no matter what people may think.  (212.5)  (DO)