The Eternal Family of Jesus

Matthew 12: 46-50
Mi 7:14-15,18-20 / Ps 85

Whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.
(Matthew 12:50)

To be Christ’s brother or sister,
This we must follow willingly -
God’s will: to love one another,
To be one in God’s family.

While Jesus was still speaking to the crowds, His mother and His brothers appeared outside, wishing to speak with Him. Someone told Him, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, asking to speak with you.” But He said in reply to him, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.” (Matthew 12:46-50)

Reflection

Jesus did not let the interruption that his mother and brothers had arrived disrupt His discourse with the crowds. Instead, He used the occasion to express His deep affection to His disciples, who had left everything to follow Him, and to emphasize that our spiritual bond (with His eternal Father) is more important than our intimate but temporal relationships here on earth. Our Lord was not exaggerating on the first point. After all, what further evidence of His love can One Who died on the cross for our sins show to His followers? On the second point, the writer of Hebrews said of Him, “He who sanctifies, and those who are being sanctified all have one Father. Therefore He is not ashamed to call them ‘brothers’, saying, I will proclaim Your Name to my brothers, in the midst of the assembly I will praise You.” (Heb.2:11-12)

However, kinship with Jesus by obedience to the will of God in our lives is never as easy as being born into a human family and being obedient to our parents. To be a member of Jesus’ family is to commit to all the lessons He has been teaching us in the Scriptures. Following the will of God means submitting to the doctrines of our Church, against the more popular (or modern) norms of the secular world. Developing a spiritual relationship means seeking a spiritual meaning in the ordinary day-to-day events in our life, as we are guided by the Holy Spirit. But what an enormous privilege it is to belong to Christ’s family! What grace! “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, Abba, ‘Father!’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, suffering with Him, so that we may also share in His glory” (Rom.8:14-17). “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom His whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith” (Eph.3:14-17).

For those among us who have found Christ in a renewal organization, the quality time that we sacrifice away from our family to serve in our community will spell a much greater gain than we can ever expect. We have come to regard our community of brothers and sisters in Christ as a fortress of support and encouragement, and an empowering pool of acceptance and love where we feel the flow of the Holy Spirit in our prayer assemblies and breakfast fellowships. The palpable flow of God’s love in our assemblies always reminds me of Jesus’ words to Peter: “There is no one who has given up (everything) for My sake and for the sake of the Gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age, and eternal life in the age to come” (Mk.10:29-30). How perfect are the words of Jesus.

Thank you, Father God for giving us our family as well as a loving community, where brothers and sisters truly care for each other, constantly growing in Your love. May we live up to our commitments to both of them in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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