"He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” Matthew 12:48-50
What is it that makes a family, a family?
You could say it was a name… yes, but not all families carry the same name.
You could say it was blood… sure, this could be the case, but not always.
You could say that it was a group of people who share a home together… yes, yes but how does that account for extended family or family living away from home for study of work?
One definition I found is;’ A group of people related by blood or marriage’.
Essentially people are in families because of their past (where they have come from) and/or a commitment they have made to each other.
Jesus defines family differently. When asked to interrupt a time of ministry with His disciples by His mother and siblings Jesus responds by saying that anyone who does the will of His father is His family. He doesn’t get up and attend to His biological family, instead He prioritises His followers. Jesus says that believers can be classed as family also – and carry at least as much importance as our earthly families.
In order to be part of God’s family Jesus says we are required to do His will. How do we know His will? We ask Him of course. We get to know Him and His ways by reading His word, praying and practice listening to His voice. It’s not just enough for us to hear and to know, Jesus says we must put it into action. Just like our biological families this is not an individual exercise. It’s communal. We pray and we read and we listen and we minister and we love and we care together.
No matter where you have come from or what you have done, once you begin the adventure with Jesus you are part of His family. You are welcomed into the most exciting and significant relationship on the planet – God’s family.