Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Family

“But He replied to them, ‘My mother and brothers are those who hear and do the word of God.’” (Luke 8:21 CSB)

Jesus mother and brothers went to see Him. Luke does not include the details Mark did, which tell us that they heard He was working all the time, constantly surrounded by people, and did not even have time to eat. They heard He was teaching in synagogues, and that some who heard Him were offended. They heard that some growing, negative feelings were developing toward Him among the religious leaders, the Pharisees. They heard there were some underlying movements that could bring harm to Him. Their conclusion: Jesus had gone insane. At least, that is the perspective that Mark comes to. So, they went to see Him and, according to Mark, to forcibly take Him home. According to all accounts, Jesus did not talk with them at that time.

When told that His mother and brothers wanted to see Him, He said, “My mother and brothers are those who hear and do the word of God.” Jesus used the moment to teach an important truth: Salvation means having a personal relationship with the Lord.

The proof of this relationship we call “salvation” is not something hereditary but is seen in how the relationship is expressed. Two expressions substantiate it: 1) we hear the word of the Lord, and 2) we do the word of the Lord.

Faith that is genuine is always an expressed faith. All of the Bible writers agree on that. In one of the great ironies of the New Testament, the one who speaks most eloquently to that truth is James, the half-brother of Jesus – one of those who had come to take Him away.

Lord, We thank You for inviting us into Your “family,” the family of faith. Help us to demonstrate our relationship with You each day, both by hearing Your word and doing it. Amen.

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