S208P1 – A new family: born of the Spirit

Lk. 8:19‭-‬21

Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.” He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.”

In life, we will be presented with many choices.  Even in God’s omnipotence, He allows us free will.  We can choose what we eat, how we spend our time, and what we do for a living.  We even can choose whether we follow him.  Some things, however, are not a choice, and family can be one of those things.  I did not choose my mother or father, my brother or sister.  While my parents might have chosen to have me, they certainly could not choose me specifically to be their son.  I expect them to love me like family despite the fact that we did not choose each other.  What I do not expect but have experienced often is that kind of treatment from others who have chosen to make me family. 

We can read the words of Christ here and think that He has slighted his family.  His words can be interpreted as discounting those relationships as if his mother and brothers are no more important or valuable to him than anyone else.  What He is really saying is that his family is not based on natural connection but spiritual connection.  Those who reject Jesus and decline rebirth through his Spirit are not his family despite their having a genetic connection.  Those who choose him and are reborn become part of his spiritual lineage regardless of their lack of natural connection to him.  For Christ and his spiritual family, this is about choice.  No one just ends up a brother or sister to him.  Those relationships must be pursued. 

Being a natural relative of Christ must have been a unique and incredible experience, but that is not why He came.  He did not go on to create a natural family of his own.  He wanted to add to God’s spiritual family by spiritual rebirth.  That is the connection that matters because it has eternal implications.  Jesus opens the door for all to join his family, but they must make that choice.  Even his natural parents and siblings did not get a pass but were faced with the same decision.  We can join his family only if we choose him.  Father, remind us that we have been grafted into the vine, that we are brothers and sisters to your Son, children of yours.