Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him. They stood outside and sent word for him to come out and talk with them. There was a crowd sitting around Jesus, and someone said, “Your mother and your brothers are outside asking for you.”
Jesus replied, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” Then he looked at those around him and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:31-35)
Even Jesus was not immune to family strife. Jesus’ mother was Mary (Luke 1:30-31), and his brothers were probably the other children Mary and Joseph had after Jesus (see also Mark 6:3). With the crowds pressing in on him, Jesus didn’t even take time to eat. Because of this, his friends and family came to take charge of him (Mark 3:31-32), thinking he had gone “over the edge” as a religious fanatic. They were concerned for him, but they missed the point of his ministry. Even those who were closest to Jesus were slow to understand who he was and what he had come to do.
Jesus explained that the relationships in our spiritual family are ultimately more important and longer lasting than those formed in our physical families. God’s family is accepting and doesn’t exclude anyone. Although Jesus cared for his mother and brothers, he also cared for all those who loved him—his followers. Like his Father, Jesus did not show partiality (see Acts 10:34-35); he allowed everyone the privilege of obeying God and becoming part of his family. In our increasingly computerized and impersonal world, warm relationships among members of God’s family take on major importance.
The church can give the loving, personalized care that many people find nowhere else. Yet so often in our busy schedules, we give the “fly-by treatment”—offering a quick hello on Sunday, under the assumption that we are meeting people’s needs. Or we offer a quick, “Let me know if you need anything,” and wait to be asked, fearing we’ll be intruding otherwise. You don’t have to wait to be asked—you can offer. Ask God to help you anticipate the needs of your brothers and sisters. You’ll be surprised at what he brings to mind. Be a blessing to someone this week.