Family?

I’m taking a break
from writing about Peter to write about something else I found during my study
of Peter’s life. This seems to be yet another passage I’ve read probably many
times before, yet it seems so much more significant to me now. 

The passage is
Matthew 12:46-49, and it is as follows:

46 While He was still speaking to the crowds,
behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to
speak to Him. 47 Someone said
to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to
speak to You.”48 But Jesus answered the one who was
telling Him and said, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” 49 And stretching out His hand toward His
disciples, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of My Father who
is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”

I’m trying to
visualize this situation as it happened. First of all I’m curious what Jesus’
birth-mother thought when she overheard Jesus saying this. Maybe she didn’t
hear it, seeing as how it says they were outside while Jesus was preaching.
However I’m pretty sure this entire situation was outdoors so I truly believe
his family would have heard him.

Would his mother
have been hurt, or is it possible she already knew this to be the way Jesus
spoke on this subject? We know that Jesus’ siblings didn’t quite respect him as
they should or see his claims of being God as truth. His brother James believed
he was the Messiah, but not until after he rose from the dead. For the rest of
the family, I’m not totally sure exactly what happened or how they felt.

This is a side-point
but I never thought of it before now, so maybe you haven’t either. Where the
hell did Joseph go? Why do we never hear of Jesus’ dad except for in the
stories of Jesus’ birth? After some quick research it seems most believe Joseph
died sometime before Jesus began his adult ministry. Some reasons why this
makes sense are, one,  how late Jesus
began his ministry, waiting possibly for his siblings to grow up to take care
of Mary. Two, when Jesus is about to die he gives the responsibility of taking
care of Mary to John. If Joseph were alive it would not make sense for John to
have that responsibility, in fact Joseph would have had a word to say about
that since Mary was his wife.

Back to the point.
When Jesus is told his family is there to see him, instead of stopping what he
was doing to go and greet them, he basically says, “Family? Look around,
my family is all around me”. This is such a cool way to look at the Body of
Christ. As Christians, we have a large group of people who care for us. You
mother and brothers may also be Christians, but that does not mean they are
your only mother and brothers (or any other family member).

For a long time it
was a struggle for me to see things this way. I had a mother and father who
birthed and raised me. I had a blood-brother. So what’s the deal with everyone
calling me brother? Dar McCallum would introduce me to people as her son, or
estranged son, or adopted son. Every time she would do so, I would meet
whomever she was introducing me to with a smile on my face, but on the inside I
was snarling. “I HAVE A REAL MOM PLEASE STOP”, I would scream in my
heart. Why did this bother me so much?

It took me a very
long time to see the Body of Christ the way Jesus explains it above. The care,
patience, and love that Dar showed me very much was like that of a mother.
Today I can say that yes she is my mom. My birth-mother is also my mother, and
there are many other mother-figures the Lord has put in my life I see the same
way.

This same paradigm
works for siblings as well. Brothers, sisters, etc.. You may know from simply
knowing me, or reading my other blogs, that my family wasn’t the greatest
growing up. I’m thankful for everything I went through and how I was raised,
because although it may not have been the best, I learned a lot. That being
said I still have a very small family, of which only a couple are walking
Christians. I could easily be saddened by this fact, or I could look at the
truth. The truth is I have a HUGE family, the Body of Christ. Many people
working together, loving the Lord, and looking out for each other. If it’s hard
for you to see things this way, pray that God can help you embrace the new
family He gave you!

The coolest part is
that although we are all here for each other, the “each-other” isn’t
the most important thing in our lives. In fact, more importantly is “the
other”, or those who do not know the Lord (Heb. 13:2). I hope if anyone is
in a bad spot or is in situations that I have been in and are searching for
some hope and peace, that they eventually find the Lord.

God is so damn good,
and no matter how terrible this world has been to you, or how unloved you were
by your birth-family, God can provide. He can provide truth, peace, hope, joy,
and most importantly true love. He knows how important family is. He knows how
miserable life can be when you are alone. That is why he provided for us his
Son. Jesus died on the cross for our sins so that we can have a relationship
with him. All who accept that gift through prayer receive the Holy Spirit in
their hearts, giving them a direct line to God. How cool it is to be able to
talk directly to the Creator of the universe. It is only Him that makes true
love possible, for he is love (1 Jn 4:7-8).