Part of the pack
There was a crowd sitting around Jesus, and someone said, “Your mother and your brothers are outside looking for you.
Jesus replied, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers? Then he looked at those around him and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” — Mark 3:32-35
Imagine sitting there. Imagine this affirmation! Jesus shares that you’re His family, His intimate family, His brood.
Yeah. Hold that thought for a moment.
These verses in the Gospel of Mark are mixed with the Pharisees accusing Jesus of getting His power from Satan. You really don’t want to accuse Jesus of buddying up—or all out working for—Satan. Yeah. That didn’t work so well for the Pharisees.
But rather than talk about this trivial (and completely false) accusation, Jesus has a greater message; it’s one about who we are when bonded by Christ’s love. When answering the Pharisees on their trumped-up charge, Jesus speaks to unity among family. Perhaps Abraham Lincoln may have been referencing at least in part of Jesus’ message when the not yet elected 16th President of the United States said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
Jesus says a kingdom divided by civil war will collapse. Long before the lanky senator from Illinois shared his words in 1858 to a young nation about to divide, Jesus adds that a family splintered by feuding will far apart (Mark 3:24).
What then, is family if we are not to fall apart by feuding?
Just yesterday, I found three quotes on family that speak to the question just raised.
- Family puts their arms around you and loves you when you’re not so lovable. —Deb Caletti
- Family is not an important thing, it’s everything. —Michael J. Fox
- You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them. —Desmond Tutu
Jesus calls those who sit with Him His family. Let’s be reminded of—and practice—what family is and what family means. There has been enough division. It is time to simply, truly, openly love.
LORD: You’re my family, too. And I’m grateful. In fact, I’m so grateful to You that Your love will show through my love in those I meet today. Amen.