A Spiritual Family as Defined By Jesus
“For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”
Dear Family & Friends,
We are embarking on the 2023 holiday season! In a few weeks, families will gather to eat turkey with all the fixings as they celebrate Thanksgiving. A month later kinsfolk will again find themselves together to participate in all the festivities that surround the Christmas season. There is nothing like a good family to share the joy of celebration.
Family – The Central Unit of Culture
Family has been a central unit of our culture from the beginning of time. Our world has many thoughts on what constitutes a physical family, but in the book of Matthew, God’s Son shares His definition of a true spiritual family.
Jesus had many run-ins with the religious leaders of His time on earth. He came as a fulfillment of the Scripture they diligently studied, but they refused to believe He was the Messiah Whom the prophecies foretold would come from the line of King David. They prided themselves on being part of God’s spiritual family because they were biological descendants of Abraham and David, but Jesus had a different requirement.
Jesus’ Mother and Brothers Arrive
While Jesus spoke to the crowds during a heated interchange with the Pharisees, His mother and brothers arrived and asked to speak to Him. Jesus used this opportunity to define a new type of family relationship in which all who receive Him and believe in His name are given the right to become children of God (John 1:12). These true members of God’s family, He taught, desire to do the will of their Father in heaven and are named the “brothers, sisters, and mothers” of Christ.
Jesus was not disregarding His physical mother and siblings with this statement. Instead, He was elevating this most important and everlasting relationship with God. In His statement He opened up the membership of His spiritual family to anyone who would believe and obey.
Benefits of Family
Family life provides many benefits. These include companionship, love, commitment, shared experiences, and mutual support. But unfortunately, physical families are imperfect and change over time. Some, even today, may be mourning the loss of a loved one or feeling the effects of loneliness from lack of connection. And even during the festive holiday season stress and disagreements can arise requiring much patience and forgiveness.
Yet, despite the condition of your biological family relationships, all are invited to be part of the spiritual family that Jesus defined. In this family comprised of people from every nation and race, members share the name “Christian” and have a heavenly Father Who loves them perfectly, promises always to be near, walks with them through every good and bad experience, commits Himself to their growth and well-being, and names them heirs with their brother, Jesus Christ.
Spiritual Family Takes Precedence
All of these blessings and more are for those who do the will of the Father in heaven. This spiritual family takes precedence over all other earthly relationships and it will last for eternity.
I hope you enjoy the upcoming holiday weeks as you spend time with those you love. But take a moment during the celebrations to consider Jesus’ invitation. He wants you to be part of His family. Believe in His name, do the will of the Father in heaven, and receive all the benefits that come only from being part of the family of God.
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