Saturday in the Seventh Week of Ordinary Time

Matthew 12:46-50; Mark 3:20-21, 31-35; Luke 8:19-21

Jesus’ True Family

Today we take up a passage of Scripture in which Jesus teaches us just what constitutes “family” in the kingdom of God.  Furthermore, this passage will provide us an opportunity to weigh Scripture with Scripture so that we may come to a correct understanding.  Throughout the Church’s history, she has taught a principle of interpretation called, “the analogy of faith,” whereby she means that Scripture must interpret Scripture, so that one verse of Scripture, which may seem difficulty to understand, is made clearer by another on the same topic.  This way one verse of Scripture is not made to dominate the clear teaching of the rest of the Bible.

In this passage, while Jesus is teaching the people, someone comes and informs him that his mother and brothers are waiting outside to speak with him.  (Incidentally, this passage provides us with a clue that Joseph had probably passed away by the time of Jesus’ ministry.)  Jesus answers by saying that his mother and brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.  Now this strikes us as being standoffish of Jesus, if not disrespectful, towards his mother.  It also seems to devalue the natural family.

In answer to these charges, Scripture highly values and blesses family life.  We could begin with the commandment, “Honor your father and your mother,” which even comes before, “You shall not murder.” (Exodus 20:12-13).  On the cross, Jesus commended his mother to John’s care (John 19:26-27).  Again, Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for twisting the Scriptures so that one would not have to take care of one’s parents in their old age (Matthew 15:1-9).  And Paul says directly that anyone who refuses to take care of his own family is worse than an unbeliever (First Timothy 5:8).  What was certainly painful for Jesus was that his own family doubted him.  Although Mary surely knew of his special role in God’s plan, given his exceptional birth, yet Mark 3:21 tells us that his family wanted to seize him for they thought, “He is out of his mind.”  John 7:5 tells us that even his brothers did not believe in him, though after his resurrection some did (Acts 1:14), namely James and Jude, whose letters bear their names.  So if you have trouble witnessing to your own family, know that Jesus had the same problem.

Still, the blood of Christ makes us “kingdom” family (Hebrews 2:11-12).  We are married to our spouses only till death, and in heaven we will be like the angels (Romans 7:1-3; Matthew 22:30).  Faith in Christ makes us brethren.  And in heaven, we will have no sinful natures impeding our fellowship.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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