I have been thinking a lot lately about family. I love my family, for better or worse, but lately I have been contemplating what GOD wants us to do in regard to family. When I think of the people that mean the most to me (other than my husband and children of course), many of the ones that I think of are of no blood relation. They are the ones that I ask for prayers from, the ones I tell my dreams and fears to, the ones that make me laugh and cry and think. They are the ones that I dread losing, the ones that enrich my life and make it more meaningful. Not to say I don't love and respect the people I share DNA with, but I can't say that they are family in the sense that JESUS spoke of.
The Bible talks a lot about family. In the Old Testament family is incredibly important. To bear children and raise a family in the fear of the Lord was not only the main responsibility of all of GOD's children, it was considered a blessing. Women who couldn't have children were considered cursed. Hannah cried out to the Lord to bless her with a child. So did Leah. And Sarah. Job lost his entire first family, that was one of the many ways satan attacked him. Abraham and Sarah were promised more descendants than there are grains of sand on the earth. Esther put her life on the line to protect her people, the people to whom she belonged. Ruth walked away from all she knew and followed Naomi because she considered Naomi her family. (Ruth is one of my favorite people in the Bible. I love that she was so loyal, and that her love for her mother in law was so great that she left everything she knew to follow where GOD led her). Yes, in the Old Testament family was the most important thing. But what about the New Testament?
31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”
33 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.
34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”Mark 3:31-35
JESUS loved his family. As the oldest son it would have been his responsibility to care for His mother and siblings after Joseph's death. I don't think He was rejecting His family in this story. I use to. I use to think it was terrible that HE would turn away from HIS mom especially. I didn't like it, it made me very uncomfortable. But I think I had it all wrong. I think what HE was doing was sending us a message that sometimes we need to recognize that our real family; the one HE has sent to build us up, and encourage us, and teach us; doesn't share our genes, they share our hearts.