Jesus replied, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear God’s word and obey it.” – Luke 8:21 NLT
Let’s face it. No family is perfect. Not the Obamas, the Bush family, the Kennedys, nor yours. Families are made of imperfect people that did not choose one another. Parents choose to have children, but not necessarily the children they have. Amen! Children certainly don’t choose their parents but grow to love them deeply. Amen again!
Jesus didn’t have a perfect family. His ancestors are listed in Matthew 1. Some of them you know: Jacob the liar, Scandalous David and Bathsheba, Rahab the prostitute, and Manasseh, who was just plain wicked. We all have some lying, scandalous, immoral, just plain wicked people in our families. So how do we live with them while living out our faith?
Jesus loved his family, but his family did not deter him from doing what God sent him to do. Jesus was in the middle of teaching when his mother and brothers came to see him. The crowd was so large that his family couldn’t get to Him so someone went to tell him. “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, and they want to see you.” His response in Luke 8:21 shows us how important it is to stay focused on God’s call when family disruptions pull at you.
I’m pretty sure Jesus went to talk with his mom and brothers when he was finished. We know how much he loved them. First, because he’s Jesus. Duh! But also because we see the way he cared for his mother at the end of his life. In John 19:26 Jesus tells John to care for Mary when he dies. Then, he tells his mother “Dear woman, here is your son.” He wasn’t so caught up in being “Jesus” that he ignored the pain and confusion that his purpose caused his friends and family. Your purposeful walk may be painful to your family. Don’t stop walking but be considerate of how they must feel now that things are different.
“Don’t stop walking but be considerate of how they must feel now that things are different.”
Again, in Mark 10:29, we see an emphasis on living for God despite how your family may receive it. Jesus says that if we give up mother, father, brothers, sisters, and children for God’s purposes, then we will not only inherit eternal life but also blessings right here on earth. He doesn’t mean that we stop interacting with our families. It means that we have to get on with the business of being who God says we are. Our priority is to please God, not our families.
Continue to respect the wisdom of family elders, but understand when their advice is not lined up with God’s word. Well-meaning, but ill-informed wisdom can get you off track. Ultimately you must allow God’s word to be the authority on the way you live and how you make decisions.
Now that you understand you cannot let your family pull you away from God, check this out…
Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” – 1 Timothy 5:8 As Christians, we are to be the example of God’s love to our families. We certainly need to set healthy boundaries for our faith walk. However, we cannot ignore or isolate ourselves from family. We must remain a vital part of our human families while prioritizing our eternal family in Christ Jesus.
“Don’t forget where you came from…”
Deuteronomy 8:12-14 warns us about forgetting what God has done. However, unless you had a lobotomy you’ll never forget “where you came from”. Explain to people who accuse you of this that it is precisely because you remember “where you came from” that you are where you are today. But for the grace of God, you’d still be “where you came from.” Amen? Amen!
What do you need to do so that your family relationships are more aligned with what Jesus taught us?