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  • David Bent

Part of the Family (23-09-20)

Bible Reading: Mark 3:31-35

Jesus' mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him.

A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him,

"Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you."

"Who are my mother and my brothers?" he asked.

Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said,

"Here are my mother and my brothers!

Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother."

A Thought

Imagine the scene. Jesus is teaching a crowd of people in a confined space in someone’s house. He is told that his mother and his brothers are outside and would like to speak to him, and he replies

"Who are my mother and my brothers?

Here are my mother and my brothers!

Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother."

How would you feel if you were Mary or one of Jesus’ brothers?

How would you view this scene from the point of view of family values?

At first glance, with Jesus’ apparent snub of his mother and his brothers, this is a difficult passage to understand. But that is only if it is looked at from the perspective of Mary and of Jesus’ brothers, and with the assumption that there is a level of insecurity within their family.

But what if the family that Mary and Joseph have raised together is totally secure in their love for each other, and would therefore know, as would the crowd, that there is no way that Jesus would snub them? How would that change things? And what if you then viewed the passage from the perspective of the crowd. What difference would that make to your understanding?

Mary clearly had done God's will in becoming the mother of Jesus, and we know that his brother James went on to do God's will in leading the early church in Jerusalem. So, when Jesus says that ‘Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother’, could we see this, not as a snub to Mary and Jesus’ brothers, but as an invitation, to all of us, to become part of this loving and emotionally secure family?

How do you respond to the invitation to become a mother or brother or sister of Jesus by hearing the word of God and doing it?

How might you respond to your wider family, in the light of this passage?

A Prayer

Thank you Jesus, that you welcome me into your loving family.

Give me ears to hear what you are asking me to do and the faith and courage to do it.

Amen.

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