We're Jesus' Family
Chan Gin Kai
Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.” He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.” (Luke 8:19-21)
Jesus had brothers and sisters (Mark 6:3 and Matthew 13:55-56). Those who believe in the theory of Mary’s perpetual virginity explain that they were perhaps his cousins or Joseph’s children from an earlier marriage. But there is no evidence anywhere in the Bible that suggests Mary is a perpetual virgin. This belief only surfaced some time in the 2nd Century and gained wider support in the 4th Century.
On this occasion, his mother and brothers came to see him. Because of the huge crowd, they could not get near him. They did not have a special ‘backstage pass’ that gained them immediate access to Jesus. We would have thought that they’ll get special privileges, but they didn’t.
When someone helpfully told Jesus that his mothers and brothers wanted to see him, his reply was surprising, “My mothers and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.”
One might read the above and easily misunderstand Jesus. Your family came to see you and you ignore them? Are you denying your family in favour of your followers? Why are you lowering the ‘status’ of your family?
Jesus wasn’t lowering his respect or love for his family, but lifting up those who are obedient to God. He obviously loved his family. In one of the most touching moments when Jesus hung on the cross, he asked John to help him take care of his mother. When Jesus made the above statement, he was emphasising how we can draw close to him – by hearing God’s word and putting it into practice.
We need to hear God’s word. And we need to put it into practice.
Are we hearing God’s word on a consistent basis? Let us not make it a habit of missing our Bible studies. Share your quiet times with one another. Pay attention in church during sermons and discuss what you’ve learnt. Read up on insights written by others... Follow Jesus365 (can’t miss out on this advertising opportunity).
We cannot simply hear God’s word but not apply what we learn. The mere act of listening and understanding is not sufficient. Change is required if we want to draw near to Jesus. Let’s marvel at God’s creation, let’s enjoy that warm fuzzy feeling in our heart as we sing songs of praise, but let’s not forget that we need to transform our lives. We need to be more Christ-like to be close to Christ.
When we repented of our sins and got baptised, we became part of God’s Church. We didn’t merely become brothers and sisters with each other; we became siblings of Jesus and children of God. Our family extends beyond the familiar faces in church to Jesus, to God, and to the Holy Spirit.
This is a very precious relationship that was attained through a huge sacrifice. Jesus had to die on the cross for this family to be formed. We need to treasure this relationship that we now have with him. Let’s carrying on putting God’s word into practice and preserve this valuable bond.
Chan Gin Kai
Gin Kai is a film producer who believes in the power of media to inspire positive changes. He has spearheaded disaster relief and capacity building projects in impoverished communities across Asia. In church, he serves as a mentor to young professionals in the EDGE Ministry. He describes himself as "just a sinner who wants to get right with God".