These words can be a bit uncomfortable as Jesus is saying that our real family is fellow followers of Jesus Christ. The bible does say that we should be honouring to our family, but often we worship the nuclear family rather than honouring the nuclear family. Jesus is saying that the claim of his family is no greater than the believers around him.
Earlier in Mark Jesus appoints the 12 disciples, in doing this He is redefining the family and with the disciples Jesus is modelling a new way to do community.
In scripture marriage points to the relationship between us and God. Our biological family is formed as an example to point towards the eternal family of the church.
What Jesus is saying doesn’t undermine the sixth commandment, instead he’s extending the principle to everyone who is a Christian. You’re called to not only honour your natural parents but all of your fellow believers.
How do we live out what Jesus is saying
- Prioritise the church family:
- In a family of any size they have to work out their priorities to make things work.
- Can’t always be spontaneous or organic, you have to plan ahead and prioritise e.g. prioritise going to community groups.
- Participate in church family:
- When a family is living together everyone has practical roles, a family that works well are when people are engaged and everyone participates.
- It’s the same in church, we all have a part to play, to serve and give of our time and treasures.
- Persevere with church family:
- Families can be annoying and we can get so upset with them, but there’s forgiveness and knowing that we’ll continue to walk with them through the ups and downs.
- It’s the same in church, there will be disagreements but we’re not to give up, but to persevere.
Why is this so important?
If we define family not primarily by the biological family we’re born into but the family of God it embodies the gospel and it’s attractive to our society.
Do you want to be an active part of God’s family?