SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT FOR TODAY
Passage: Luke 8:19-21
Jesus’ Mother and Brothers Come to Him
“Then His mother and brothers came to Him, and could not approach Him because of the crowd. And it was told Him by some, who said, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see You.”
But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.”
Memory Verse Luke 8:21 (NIV)
“HE REPLIED, “MY MOTHER AND BROTHERS ARE THOSE WHO HEAR GOD’S WORD AND PUT IT INTO PRACTICE.”
Luke 8:19-21 is the final part of Jesus’ teaching from Luke 8:4-18. It seems that Jesus had been out of His home for a long time. He was probably in the region of Capernaum. Luke reports that as Jesus was still teaching the people who had gathered around Him, including His disciples, His mother and brothers went to look for Him. Jesus was busily doing His Father’s work so He did not ‘see’ His mother and brothers standing outside, looking for Him. It does not actually mean that Jesus could not see what was going on around Him; it means that He was so focused on the necessary things that He paid no or little attention to the things which could easily distract His attention.
It is important for believers to take a cue from what Jesus did in this particular instance. Jesus knew why He came into the world and was always focused on that. He knew He had to preach, teach, heal and drive out demons and He never allowed anything else to take His attention away from his core mandate. Often, believers allow certain ‘unnecessary’ things and things which have no eternal values to draw us away from our responsibilities towards God. Sometimes we allow certain things to destroy our relationship with God.
Jesus knew that paying attention to his family members could distract his attention from the work His Father had sent him to do at that moment. He therefore ‘pretended’ He had not seen them until someone told Him. It is therefore important for believers to learn to always understand that what God requires from us is much more important than what man requires of us. It does not in any way mean that we should neglect our families while doing God’s work. What matters most is that we should not stop doing what we are supposed to do for God, because of our family’s physical needs. We should also not spend all our time on supposed God’s work, to the detriment of the family.
Jesus did not just focus on what He had come to do but also went ahead to define those who are his real family members, being his mother and brothers. According to Jesus Christ, His mother and brothers are those who listen to God’s word and put it into practice. This is the definition Jesus gives to those who belong to his family. According to the Master those who belong to the family of God are the people who love his word by paying attention to its study. Such people also listen to God’s word which comes through His truly sent messengers. Those who belong to the family of God are so much in love with God’s word that they meditate upon it day and night. They acknowledge the fact that God’s word is a lamp unto their feet and a light unto their path and diligently allow it to direct every aspect of their lives. Such true family members of Jesus Christ do not only listen to what Jesus teaches, they practice what they study from the gospel.
The issue of obedience as a qualification for true family members of Jesus Christ is also reiterated by Jesus himself in John 14:15 when He said that those who love Him, that is belong to Him, are those who obey His commands. This means that those who can boldly claim to belong to the family of Jesus Christ, and by extension the Kingdom of God, are those who listen to and practice God’s word. This particular description of true family members of Jesus makes it clear that many of those who claim to be Christians are not regarded as such by Christ. They are not regarded by Jesus as true family members because they refuse to practice what He teaches. Those of us who claim to be Christians without obedience to God’s word can be best described as hypocrites and deceivers of ourselves. Many of us are neither hot nor cold and should expect that Christ will spit us out of his mouth soon because we do not belong to Him. I must be very quick to add that Christ is still inviting sinners who are willing to change into his family . If we shall confess our sins, He shall forgive us and add our names to His family members.
Beloved in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, it is obvious that Jesus will soon appear in His glory to take away those who belong to Him to the place he has prepared for them. Only those who belong to His family will be able to enter into that Golden City. It is true that many people including you and I confess to be Christians. If that is indeed true then we can be confident of a place in the Golden City called Heaven. However if we are just interested in calling ourselves Christians without making any conscious efforts at putting God’s word into practice we cannot be sure of a place in Heaven. After several years of having called ourselves Christians, it is my prayer that our names will always remain in the list of Jesus’ true family members. May the Lord help us to be true practitioners of God’s word!
THE WORD OF THE LORD!
Pastor Nana Kobina Baisie
Teacher/Pastor at Nadrim Mission International School, Busan, Korea.