31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”

33 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.

34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” Mark 3:31-35

There is a relationship that supersedes even the closest of family ties. It’s difficult to pick up the mood of Jesus’ human family in this short record. Why were they here, as a family, to see Jesus? Were they on some kind of rescue mission, seeing that they had all come together? Did they think He needed protection from Himself because His popularity was getting out of hand?

Once again Jesus emerges as the sanest of all the people in this scene. His agenda was long term. This earthly life was only a passing phase in the scheme of things, and He knew it. His mission was to restore and rebuild His Father’s family – those who would reconnect with God by faith through His redeeming sacrifice. He would have to endure this early paranoia in His ministry because there would come a time when people would either become offended by Him because of the cost of following Him, or they would go on seeing and believing who He really was and become connected to Him regardless of the cost, because they understood His long-term mission to reunite them with the Father.

Hence Jesus did not set as much store on the relationship He had with His natural family as He did on His passion to win back God’s forever family. It may have initially seemed like rejection but, in the long term, every one of His natural family members had the same invitation and the same opportunity to become even more intimate members of His faith family.

Paul declared that, when we are “in Christ”, everything changes. The old scheme of things is replaced by the new. Old family ties are replaced by new ones; our old nature with its bent towards independence, is replaced by a restored connection with God as our Father and its accompanying sense of identity and security because we now belong to a universal family forever under the benevolent control of our eternal Father.

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Luella Campbell

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