Tuesday, September 2, 2014

September 2 – Becoming Royalty

And pointing toward his disciples he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”  (Matthew 12:49-50 NET)

It’s hard to imagine anyone being indifferent to Jesus.  People either worshipped Him, or wanted to kill Him.  But the Bible tells us in John 7:5, that His own brothers didn’t believe in Him.  They saw His miracles as some sort of gimmick that He could use to become popular and make a living.  The Son of God was in their own family, and they were dismissive of Him.  

So in this passage, Jesus was busy teaching the crowds, and is told that His mother and brothers are waiting outside, asking to speak to Him.  Think about it.  The God who created the universe was there in the flesh, revealing the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven to multitudes of followers, but His brothers demanded to interrupt Him, because family matters were more urgent.

Jesus didn’t go.  He looked at the crowds there who valued who He was and what He had to say, and proclaimed that they were His family.  His flesh and blood stood outside and thought too highly of themselves to value what He was doing.  They should have been among the crowds, listening and receiving all He said as revelations direct from the God the Father.  And because they were disregarding God Himself, they had to be put in their place in front of everyone there.

What does this mean for us?  We who do the will of God, who are eager to hear the words of Jesus and to put them into practice, are promised to become His own family.  Not just followers or servants, although we are, but He will treat us with the same love and intimacy as brothers and sisters, sons and daughters.  We can embrace Him, dine with Him, converse with Him and share in His goodness.  We are elevated to the highest position of royalty in the Kingdom of God.

Another lesson is that our own attachments to family and friends on this earth should mirror Jesus.  We can be misunderstood and even ridiculed for our faith by loved ones. Don’t feel alone in this, Jesus already went through that and showed us how we are to respond.  Though we are to love our families and carry out our responsibilities as spouses and parents, our loyalties are first to God and to His people.  We are all a part of a new family, a greater Kingdom and a greater cause, and to trust that as we care for God’s family, He will care for our own.

Interestingly, Jesus’ brothers finally did believe in Him, and were part of establishing the Early Church.  Scholars believe that the author of the book of James is the brother of Jesus, and the first bishop of the Jerusalem church.   Mary His mother was among the first disciples in the Upper Room to be baptized in the Holy Spirit.  Jesus may have seemed harsh, but God worked to bring them into His true family.  Let’s follow His example and seek to be a part of His family above all else.  

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