27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”28 Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!” 29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life.
Matthew 12:47-50 NIV
“Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.””
2 Peter 3:9 NIV
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
John 19:25-27 NIV
“Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.”
10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
From early in the Bible, Genesis, we first hear the call from God to leave. It’s essentially what Jesus speaks of here: but just like Abraham who received abundantly more than he first had, than he left behind, we are told through the disciples that God will gives us more than we left. In the case of family, he gives us the universal family- the body, The church.
Who then are my brothers?
The lord never says that your family isn’t your family anymore, but he showed us through his life that we should never be confined to the humanistic or blood relations. “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.””
Jesus always saw the will of God as the strongest unifying factor of people. We are children of God, brothers and sisters to one another. But, if we study closely, this never means that we just forsake or cast away the old family. There’s a priority, but they still matter, especially to God.
God is patient, and we can rest assured that God loves them too, and here’s at least one reason why. He’s patient beyond our imagination. He wants everyone, and that includes them to turn him. Jesus, on the cross, he did two amazingly strong things. He prayed for those who put him on the cross, crying out, “forgive them father for they know not what they do”, and amid the most agonizing pain he ever felt, he was more concerned about his Mother.
As we focus on God, and grow closer to one another, we understand this heart of love in Jesus, and we keep those who may be still far off in our prayers. We can see how much the lord cared for his mother, so we can trust that he’s still working on our families as well.
So today, let the theme of prayer for your family, those still far off be one you focus on. We should always do good for everyone if we can, and prayer, we always have an opportunity to pray. May God open their heart and bring them into the body of Christ, amen.