Family Ties

“Then His mother and His brothers came, and while standing outside they sent word to Him, calling for Him. And a crowd was sitting around Him, and they said to Him, ‘Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are outside looking for You.’ Answering them, He said, ‘Who are My mother and My brothers?’ And looking around at those who were sitting around Him, He said, ‘Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of God, this is My brother, and sister, and mother.’”—Mark 3:31–35 (NASB)

Put yourself in Mary’s shoes. You’re told you’ll give birth to the Messiah. Okay. You’re on board. Then you’re told by complete strangers His birth was heralded by a host of heavenly angels. Prayerfully, you ponder this in your heart.

Then, when you have your newborn circumcised, a well-respected man amazes you with all he says about Him. It’s baffling, really . . . calling your baby a “light of revelation” (Luke 2:32). Twelve short years later, you find your son at a local church where the teachers are listening to Him and asking Him questions.

As a man, you see Him do a miracle at a family wedding. You later learn He travels the countryside healing people, casting out demons, speaking with authority, and calling Himself the Son of God. It’s also been said He entered a church, drove nefarious people out from it, and overturned tables. From what people tell you, huge crowds follow Him, others malign Him (going so far as to say He’s possessed by a demon), and with all He’s going through He barely has time to eat (Mark 3:20).

You and your family would be concerned. And you might reason, as Jesus’ family did, He’s lost his senses (Mark 3:21). When in all actuality, His zeal for God consumed Him.

Mary and Jesus’ brothers took action. Wouldn’t you? They came to Him, called to Him, and hoped to take Him to convalesce. However, His response to them is a bit of a shock. It’s almost as though He disowns them. Au contraire! For His family as well as those around Him, Jesus offers inclusion into the family of God.

Because there were those in His midst who opposed Him and those who accepted Him, He lauded the latter with the exhortation that His family is anyone who does the will of God. What is the will of God? It’s for people to believe in Jesus and have eternal life (John 6:40).

I pray you believe. I pray if your family doesn’t understand your zeal for God, you’ll ponder this in your heart: You haven’t lost your mind; you are committed to your God. Jesus is not ashamed to call you His brother or sister (Hebrews 2:11). You may face opposition, but take that to Jesus. He faced it as well, and He’s a sympathetic King (Hebrews 4:14-16).

Take heart, too, that Mary and Jesus’ brothers all came to believe. Don’t give up. And remember, in Jesus, we have a family bond thicker than blood because it’s thick in the blood of Christ.

PAUSE: Why was Jesus’ family so concerned about Him? Does it make you wonder why they didn’t initially believe after all they had seen and heard? Yet, who was in the upper chamber with Him after His resurrection? And who wrote the book of James and Jude’s letter? How does this encourage you?

PRACTICE: Jesus never held back in His zeal for God. Are there times you hold back out of fear, inadequacy, or opposition?

PRAY: Lord, I want to know what zeal looks like in my life. There are so many other things I commit to, Lord, but I want to be all in for You. With the help of the Spirit, I ask that You would help me to find that path and walk in it without fear and strengthen me through opposition. Thank You for choosing me to be part of Your family. In Your holy name I pray. Amen.

About the Author

Lisa Supp

Lisa Supp lives in Utah and has served within the CCFL Web and Prayer Ministry since 2011. She also volunteers as an editor on the CCFL Prayer Wall and is a writer on the Communications Team. Retired from teaching, Lisa and her husband Ron volunteer at their local Calvary Chapel and share a passion for Scripture, apologetics, and education.