17th Jan, 2018 Day 17

Mathew 12:46 - 13:17

Jesus’ real family

What a marvellous reality it is that God welcomes us into his family! This truth is illuminated in Jesus’s provocative responses to the interruption made as He spoke to the crowd – firstly saying “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” then pointing to his disciples, with the words “Behold my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother.”

No doubt some Jewish hearers would have perceived Jesus’s words as outrageous and a scandal, as honouring one’s parents was enshrined in the Law and acceptance by God was largely held as attached to Jewish ethnicity. Jesus provokes those truly listening to align their priorities. He asserts that His family consists of those who do the will of God, not those who are of a particular nation, elite group, or ethical movement. Their priority (and ours) should be faithful obedience rather than their own standards and their works (even though they may be well-meaning).

Jesus goes on to tackle this point further using the parable of the sower (which He explains in Mathew 13: 18-23) and quoting from Isaiah 6:9-10, He tells his disciples that the people were like those of Isaiah’s day who heard the word, but did not really hear, and so did not turn away from their ungodly ways to follow God. In sharp contrast, Jesus tells His disciples “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears because they hear.”

If you’ve listened to the word of Jesus and kept your trust in Him and His finished work for your forgiveness of sins, you have been adopted into His family (see also Romans 8:15) and He calls you “my brother” or “my sister”. Today join in with the sound of heaven in giving thanks and praise to God for this amazing gift! We are to avoid the trappings of pride with this fantastic blessing by ensuring we “clothe ourselves in humility” (1 Peter 5:5) and keep our dependence on and obedience to God our priority.

Mike Ikwuagwu

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