“Lord, as an act of praise we say ‘yes’ to You and to Your rule over us. We say ‘yes, yes.’ Amen and Amen” (Walter Brueggemann).
Read LUKE 8:16-21
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
The sad fact today is, instead of a haven in a heartless world, many families have become battlefields and psychological wastelands.
Christians are quite rightly concerned about the importance of family. So, what sense are we to make of this incident where Jesus apparently ignores his immediate family in favor of unnamed individuals who respond to God’s Word? In his world, family unity and solidarity were crucial, and relationships with mother and brothers were two of the most sacred for Jews.
Jesus doesn’t actually disown his family. Remember, in the midst of the excruciating agony of crucifixion and achieving the whole world’s redemption, his thoughts were also of his mother’s needs (John 19:25-27). This whole passage builds on the parable of the receptive soil. It is about priorities and their consequences. Truth is to be actively received from God, put into action and made known to others. This expression of relationship with God has to take priority, even over close human relationships. Obedience like this will bring further godly insight and a real sense of belonging with God as his much-loved children (1 John 2:29–3:1). This, however, is not a reason for us to neglect our family relationships for Christian activism (Isa. 58:6-7).
So, important though our emphasis upon family values and relationships may be, this is hollow if our everyday lives are not accompanied by active responsiveness to God’s words. We live in a society of increasingly complex family relationships. Children may have siblings with different parentage, or have more than one father, or same-sex parents. Families can be a place of disappointment and pain. Consequently, for many, friends are the new family. So for us obedience to God’s Word will include faithfulness in relationships, generosity in sharing family life with others and seeking to live with Jesus at the heart of all we do and are.
Prayerfully consider how you could help create family for others. What simple practical steps could you take? What might being hospitable look like, and to whom?
Merciful Father, I pray for Christian families, that they may demonstrate the difference that Jesus can make in relationships.
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