Matthew 12:46-50 We Are Family

Jesus is continuing teaching on this truth that although you may seem to be a pretty good person it does not mean you will get into heaven. Jesus now uses the interruption from His family to demonstrate even further the point He was making. Jesus being the eldest son would have responsibilities to the family since there is no mention of Joseph at this time then the conclusion is that He had died. Jesus would have been the one to be the head of the house to care for His mother and so there could be some need that His mother had that she needed Him to stop what He was doing.

Jesus own family with the exception of Mary did not believe He was the Messiah. Not only do they not believe that He was the messiah his half- brothers thought He had lost His mind.

Mark 3:20-21, 31-35 Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. 21 And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.” And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. 32 And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers[c] are outside, seeking you.” 33 And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34 And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”

They thought He had lost his mind. In Matthew 12:14 The religious leaders were already thinking of ways to stop Him so maybe Mary was purely concerned for His safety. Either way His family was there either to keep him from harm or from embarrassing himself or the family any further.

Whatever the circumstances were why His family was calling for Him it was clear that they were trying to get Jesus away from the crowd.

1)   Are you part of the family?

John 7:3-5 So his brothers[b] said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. 4 For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 For not even his brothers believed in him.

They wanted Jesus to perform on a big stage just like the religious leaders did so all would believe or could see He was who He said He was.  It was not till after Jesus rose from the dead that His brothers worshiped him. (See Acts 1:14)

They were outside: Deliberately outside

There is a distance between them and Jesus because they chose not to come inside and hear His teachings but instead they called for Him to come to them. It is a dangerous being close to salvation but not accepting it. Being a church goer but never coming to a full understanding of what it means to be a true disciple of His.

Here are my brothers and here are my mothers

Family ties are some of the strongest in the Middle East and so this was not Jesus disrespecting His family it was Him illustrating the point He was making. There is a spiritual family that supersedes our earthly families. It is something that many disciples had to surrender while following Christ and many people today still make the same sacrifice.

The good news is that Jesus was making sure that everyone knew that they were welcome into His family and into an intimate relationship with Him. Jesus was also making the point that just because you are blood related family member, that does not guarantee you will get into Heaven.

Whoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother.

“The whoever indicates the universality of the invitation. No one who believes is excluded. And, on the other hand, no one who does not believe will be included. (John MacArthur)

So to be clear you have to make sure that you are part of God’s family first and not just be a person who is on the outside. You do that by surrendering your will to His.

Matthew 19:29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold[c] and will inherit eternal life.

2)   What being a part of the family means

A)   Doing the Fathers Will

Matthew 6:10 Your kingdom come, your will be done,on earth as it is in heaven.

Jesus is referring back to what we call the Lord’s Prayer and specifically with us praying for God’s will to be done. Just like children honor their fathers by doing the things they are told to do, we honor God when we do His will and not our own.

Matthew 7:21 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Actions speak louder than words. Our lives reflect whose will we are doing not necessarily our words. A true family member does the will of the Father. Again many people believe they belong to the family but do not realize they are still on the outside. A good test is always to see if you are doing the will of God. Remember it is not your works that save you (Ephesians 2:8-9),but your works do show who you love.

If you think about when you are dating or even a close friendship, you will do things for people that you truly care about and you will serve them out of love not out of duty. We sometimes allow our relationship with God to not be out of love and so we carry out our task as if He is an evil drill sergeant and not a loving God.

It is easier to do the will of those you love

Love always causes you to do above and beyond without always being asked

If you are serving God because you think He will strike you with lightning then you missed it. Fall Crazy in love with Jesus and watch how your life changes.

B)   Serving alongside the family

The apostle Paul frequently referred to the Churches he was writing as brothers and sisters. (Romans 1:13; 7:1; 1 Corinthians 1:10; 2:1;)

My family has chores they have to do and we all have to pitch in to make sure the house stays in order. Again because people have the wrong view of God they have the wrong view of serving alongside their brothers and sisters in Christ.

Ephesians 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens,[a] but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,

Three Kinds of Churches

Utopia Church: If there are problems I do not want to know about them.

At this church they pretend there are no problems at this church. Everyone puts on their smiles and everything is great because they need an escape from the troubles and trials of life. Problem people get pushed out and if the church shows too many problems then the people will switch churches looking again for their Utopia.

Because people want to come to church to escape all the difficulties of life, they do not want the pastor to speak on anything controversial or difficult. Tell me about God’s love for me but do not confront the sin areas in my life. Make me feel good when I leave because I do not want to feel any conviction for my sin.

Amusement Park Church: What is in it for me?

People that are looking for the this church want to know what  you have to offer them and their children. These people will pay an entrance fee (tithe)  but then they want to be served and treated nicely the entire time. If they do not get what they want then they take their money elsewhere.

People that do not have to serve at my house are called guest or selfish children. In the amusement park church people feel like everyone should do everything for them instead of stepping in and doing their part.

Family Church: Everyone has a responsibility.

This is a  group of people that come together no matter their past, their baggage , their disabilities and accept each other on the basis of Christ and not what they have to offer each other. A family church does not get to pick and choose who is in the family because any family member is accepted.

If a family member gets sick, has issues or becomes a lot of work, we do not throw them out instead we lovingly support them. If you look at families that have children with handicaps you see what the church should be. Would that family be able to function more efficiently if it did not have that child in a wheel chair? Yes. But they do not get rid of the child for their handicap, they accept the child for who they are and how they are part of their family. In fact the family with a child that is handicap would not know what it would be like to not have a handicapped child.

 

Churches exist for those who are not there which will make them guest, but at some point you move from being a guest to a family member.

I have responsibilities to my family. I have Chores I have to do for my family. I have to love my family no matter what. I do not bail on my family because it gets difficult. If we treated our spiritual families like a loving earthly family then we would understand what Jesus desires where for His Children.

There is a succession of metaphors in ecclesiology, each more intense than the other. We are first an assembly, then a community, and finally a family. Each level involves deeper intimacy, more sharing, and greater caring-indeed, more time spent together. (Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, Matthew pg 495)

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