“Who are my mother and brothers?” He (Jesus) asked. Then He looked at those seated in a circle around Him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” – Mark 3:33-35
Let’s set the scene. Jesus was in the early days of ministry and word had spread about His powerful teaching and miraculous healings. He was in the small town of Capernaum when His family showed up, hoping to talk some sense into Him. After all, to them, He was a simple carpenter and their older brother – not this radical preacher forgiving sins and calling Himself God.
When His mother and brothers showed up asking to speak to Him, Jesus’ response was unexpected. “Who are my mother and my brothers?” He asked. Now put yourself in Mary’s shoes for a second. As the mother of Jesus, this statement had to sting a little bit. But, Jesus continued: “Whoever does God’s will is my mother, my brother and my sister” (My paraphrase). In other words, Jesus was saying that there are two types of families: our earthly family into which we are born, and our eternal family, the one we join only when we accept the gift of salvation that Jesus offers.
No matter how happy and loving, or how exhausting and dysfunctional, there is no such thing as a perfect earthly family. No matter where your family falls on the spectrum, Jesus says there’s actually another type of family – an eternal family. It, too, is imperfect, but this family welcomes anyone who recognizes their sins and their need for a Savior. Thanks to Jesus’ death on the cross that forgives our sins and makes us right with God, we all can enter this eternal family of faith. It’s a family we will never lose.
Jesus is inviting us to join His family – by being “spiritually born” into the family of faith: His bride, the church. Are you a member of His family?