Day Twelve with Mark: Mark 3:31-35

Today in our daily journey through Mark, we look at Mark 3:31-35:

The True Kindred of Jesus
31 Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.” 33 And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34 And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

Sermon-on-the-MountJesus has been ministering in his home.  And He had seen great conflict there.  Faced opposition.  Folks tried to restrain Him, keep him from teaching, really not received Him well.  And today, we see His family come to Him again, and it doesn’t really go well.

He says this is my family. Those that do my will.

Ok, a couple of things here. First, before we get too harsh and think that family doesn’t matter to Jesus, remember a couple of things.  One of the very last things Jesus did upon the cross was look to Mary and look to John the Apostle and says to her – this is your son.  And to John – this is your mother.

One of His very last acts up before His death and resurrection was to take care of His mother.  Also, notice how in the Gospels and in Acts how his mother is one of His followers.  You can’t take this one passage here and say that Jesus is saying – don’t take care of your family.  That’s not what He is saying, His life didn’t doesn’t show that, nor do His words.

Be careful building an entire theology or worldview on one verse alone.  We read scripture in relation to other scripture.  We interpret the Bible through the Bible.  You want to look at one verse through the lens of other verses.  Jesus here is not saying don’t care about your family.

Ok then, what is He saying?  This is what He is saying.  Our family is more that just biological.  As believers, as followers of Jesus, we are family. We are His family.  And we are family to each other.  If you are in Christ, tan you are as much my family as anyone that is “blood” kin to me.

As Christians, the blood relationship that matters the most is being washed in the blood of the Lamb.  If you are His, if you are His child, if you are His disciple, then you are my sister or brother.  And I am called to love you like family.

And you are called to love me like family.

Because we are.

This is Jesus family.  Not just biology.  But those that love Him and follow Him.

And this is my family.  Not just biology.  But those that love Jesus and follow Him.

Today, through Jesus, we are family. No matter what race, what denomination, what theology, what worship style, what whatever.  Today in Jesus, we are family.

What questions do you have?  How does this strike you?  Shoot me an email, comment below, or connect with me through social media.

Monday we’ll look at Mark 4:1-9.

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Being Family

There are a lot of things in life that can divide us. There are allegiances to certain college football teams. There are the different Christian denominations.  There are worship styles. There are so many things that can divide us.  In fact, the things that divide us can often seem to be so much more numerous than the things that unite us, even as Christians.

So, what happens is we focus on those things, we become more embittered, move divided, more at war with each other.

It’s easy to do. It’s what the world does, and what the world does to us as Christians.

But listen to what John tell us today in John 1: 1-5:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

Silhouette of a cross

Silhouette of a cross

Read again what it says in 4-5 – In Him (Jesus) was life and that life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

He is the light that brings us together and the darkness did not overcome it.  He is what matters.  He is the foundation, the rock, the cornerstone, the all in all, the everything.

It’s Him.  It’s not the things that divide us.  It’s not our different churches or theologies or those things.  It’s Jesus.

One of my favorite quotes is one attributed to John Wesley – “If your heart has been warmed as my heart has, then give me your hand.”  In other words, if you know Jesus like I do, then we can work together.  In fact, we must work together.  Because even though we may disagree on some stuff, we are family.

Because we have the Father in Heaven, we are saved by the same Son Jesus Christ, and we are empowered by the same Holy Spirit.

We are family. We are. Today, through Jesus, we are family.  Let’s live like.  Let’s serve like it.  Let’s love like it.

And I know it, I just know it, if we do that, if we live with that life, we will change the world, through Jesus.

Today, let’s be family.

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Grace upon Grace

Grace is not a one-time thing.  It’s really not.  God doesn’t just see our mistakes, forgive us one time, and then be done with us forever.  No, God constantly gives us grace.

He gives us grace to forgive us, He gives us grace to empower us, He gives us grace to lead us.  For us, and for the world, grace is not a one-time thing.  It’s over and over and over again.  I am thankful that God is always lavishing us with grace and mercy.

That’s how it works between us and God.  But, how should it work between us.  God always forgives us when we ask Him, but what about you and me? What are we to do when we keep messing up?  I mean, really, can’t they get it right?  How much grace do they get?  Listen to what Jesus says in Matthew 18: 21-22:

21 Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.

grace_candle_logoNow, notice what Peter asks.  He says, what if another member of the church sins against me.  Two things popped out.  One is “sins against me.”  That means does something to harm that relationship.  Something that’s not good, something harmful and destructive.

Something that may leave a mark.  Something that really may just hurt.

That’s tough to deal with.  Tough to work through.  Tough to process.  It’s not easy.

What else jumped out at me?  “another member of the church.”  Someone that’s family.  As Christians, we are called to love. That’s one of our main commands and duties as believers, to love. We are called to love, because God is love. That’s our purpose and our mission.

Love the world.  Love each other.

But especially love each other.  Because we are family.

Church, we’ve got to love each other.  If we are always fussing and fighting among ourselves, then why would the world want o be part of us?  Sometimes the fights are over theology, or worship, or leadership, or a million different things.

Jesus tells us what to do.  Love.  Forgive.  Show mercy. Be graceful.

Even when “they” don’t deserve it.  Because we don’t deserve it either.  That’s why it’s grace.  It’s never earned or deserved.  It’s always, always, always given and received.

Today, you and I have received grace from our Loving God.  Today, may we show that grace to the world, and especially to each other. Because loving each other may be one of our biggest witness to world.

In a world that is angry and bitter and hurting, folks want to know that they are loved.  When we as the church live that out, I truly believe that we can change the world.

Today, may we show grace!

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