"My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it."
(Luke 8:21 ESV)
All of us, I think, would say that our family is of the utmost importance to us. We would say that we value our family over everything else this world has to offer. And most of us have a fierce loyalty when it comes to our family. Who hasn’t heard the expression: “Blood is thicker than water.”
This is why we’re shocked when we read the words of Jesus, seen above. We see in Luke 8 that, as Jesus was teaching, his mother and brothers came to him. However, they couldn’t reach him because of the crowd. Word was then brought to him that they were outside, desiring to see him.
It’s in this context that Jesus utters these words. And, for this reason, they almost come off as disrespectful. It sounds to us like he’s devaluing his earthly family. We wonder why he wouldn’t prioritize his family over the crowd who was listening to him. We wonder why he didn’t stop and immediately go to his family.
Jesus, however, would never disrespect or devalue his family. He is God, after all. And he perfectly kept all of God’s commands, one of which is to honor your mother.
Yet, he does make an important point. He makes the point that the people of faith are his family. He makes the point that it’s faith which binds us together.
This is something that we, as Christians, tend to overlook. We continue to place a heavy emphasis on our earthly relatives, as we should. But, at the same time, we disregard our place in the church. We fail to understand our relation to our brothers and sisters in Christ.
We view our fellow believers as friends and acquaintances. And we’re happy to visit with them on Sunday morning. We may even enjoy seeing them. But rarely do we view them as family.
We don’t prioritize our fellow believers as family. We don’t truly love them like family. They are, honestly, more of an afterthought as we tend to more pressing responsibilities.
Although we desire that each of our earthly family will be saved, there are no guarantees of this. We can share the gospel with them and pray for them. But it’s only by faith that they’ll be saved.
However, because of their faith in Jesus, our fellow believers will be with us in eternity. Our relationship to them will endure forever. So it only makes sense that this is something we should greatly cherish and value.
In this spirit, my prayer is that each of us would consider our fellow believers at Prince of Peace to be family. My prayer is that we would all love each other as family. My prayer is that we will gladly build these relationships and seek to minister to one another out of this love.