Monday, February 2, 2015

Mark 3:31-35 -- On Family

"There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him.
And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee.
And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren?
And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother."
Mark 3:31-35

This is an interesting lesson that Christ taught.  God has provided a way for families to be together even after death, so he definitely cares about families.  So why ignore their request to see him or teach a lesson that seems meant to illustrate that obedience is more important than family?
I think because it is.  God wants us to have eternal families, but he knows that it doesn't always work out that way.  Some family members might go astray, and some might ask us to choose between them and God.  And when choices like that have to be made, God is *always* the correct choice.  And of course, praying like mad that the person will come back.
Matthew 10:37 and Luke 14:26 should be mentioned here as well.  In Matthew, God tells us that we are not worthy of him if we love our families more than we love God.  And in Luke, God basically tells us that we have to be willing to give up anything for him, even family... that we have to stay true to God's purpose, whatever the cost.  Sometimes this seems unfair to us.  We do sometimes value people more than God.  But I don't think God asking us to put him first lessens family relationships.  I think it enhances them.  It is only about priorities.  If he comes first, then all the rest is better, in every way.
I think that my favorite part of this selection is the last verse.  "Whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is" ... family, right?  Even if we're orphans or alone in the world family-wise, we get to build our own, of people we love who believe in the same things that we do, and God tells us right here that they *are* family.   It's just icing on the cake when we have built-in family members who are true, and we can build eternal bonds with them. :)  God still comes first, always, no question, but God wants us to have family and friends that we can stay close to eternally as well.  Seems like a massive blessing to me.  He loves us, and wants us to be happy and have love in our lives.  And on our sides, everything is better with God than without... even family.

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