What does family mean to you?
To me, family is a word that represents closeness. Usually when we talk about family we are talking about our blood relatives, father, mother, brothers and sisters. These constitute the closest relatives that we can have.
Families are the people that know you better than most and love you anyway.
Families are the people who show up in your life when everyone else may be leaving.
Families are the ones whom you have shared much of life and childhood with.
Families are the people who shaped you when you were a child.
Families are the people you look like and have mannerisms like.
Families are the people you go home to at holidays.
Families are the people who are sit with you when you are in the hospital.
Families are the people who give you money if you have an emergency.
Families are the people you build a future with.
Families are typically the closest group of people you have on earth.
Growing up in my home were Dad, Mom and my two older brothers. These people I dearly love and they are my family. God has blessed me with a spectacular earthy family of my own. I have a wife and five children.
Not all families love. Not all families are great.
I have often heard it said that blood is thicker than water. There are some who believe blood relationship is closer than any other earthly bond.
Jesus didn’t seem to think that blood relationships defined family.
Jesus made it clear that there was a deeper family.
When he was preaching, teaching and healing his earthly family (mom and brothers) came to Him. It seems that they wanted to shut Him up. When asked if He would see His family Jesus gave a peculiar answer. He said, “Who are my mothers and brothers?” And looking about at those who sat around Him, he said, “here are my mother and brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”
Jesus was making a point. Blood relatives are important but real family is found in the kingdom of God.
Belief is a stronger than blood.
The Kingdom is more important than kin.
This is a hard lesson that Jesus was teaching. Jesus would make it clear that to put faith in Him would sometimes cause a huge rift in families. It would cause a major divide. Not everyone would trust Him. Not everyone would follow Him. Jesus would not apologize when He said that he would set mother against daughter and father against son.
The Kingdom of God is more important than the Kinship of man.
But to follow Jesus and be at odds with your family does not leave you without a family. Jesus was making the point that there is a greater family. It’s a family of something deeper than blood, belief. It is a family of faith.
Blood, but not our blood unites the Church, the family of God. The blood of Jesus unites us. We hold to a common core belief that rules all other beliefs. It’s the belief that Jesus is the Messiah. He died for the sins of the world.
While we still have physical families we have a spiritual family and if our earthly family does not line up with our spiritual family (the church) then we must go with our spiritual family.
The strongest and most complete picture of family is when your earthly family and your spiritual family align. My greatest prayer for my wife and children is that their first and most important relationship will be with Jesus. When they are following Jesus and I am following Jesus we align our lives in every way.
If you did not grow up in a home with a close earthly family, God did not leave you without a family. When you follow Jesus you become part of a big family. The Church becomes your brother and sisters. You find a place of love and acceptance.
The church is the family of God and the hope of the world.