Family Ties

December 18, 2020

While He was still talking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak with Him. Then one said to Him, "Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You." But He answered and said to the one who told Him, "Who is My mother and who are My brothers?" And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and 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 12:46-50).

That Jesus had brothers and sisters is beyond doubt (Matthew 12:46; Luke 8:19; Mark 3:31). These are the natural born children of Mary and Joseph and half siblings of Jesus after He had been born. We know the names of four brothers - James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas (Matthew 13:55). James and Judas became believers after Jesus’ resurrection. Two New Testament books were written by them - James and Jude. The names of His sisters are unknown.

In the text it seems Jesus demonstrated no real love or respect for His family. Such is not the case (Luke 2:51; John 19:25-27). In a parallel passage (Mark 3:21) it is stated the motive for their visit was to take charge of Him because they believed He was ‘out of His mind’. It is suggested, though not proven, that the Pharisees had sent for them to take Jesus home because they said He had a demon. It was another means whereby they could remove Jesus from public ministry.

Jesus’ response to the disciples and to His family underscored the importance of God’s will in His life and the purpose for which He was sent. Jesus loved His mother and His siblings, but He would not allow them or anyone else to interrupt Him in His work; they were important to Him, but more important was His heavenly Father’s will. It was superior to all things in Jesus’ life, including His family. It was this principle that Jesus stressed to His disciples throughout His ministry.

(Matthew 10:34-37) Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to “Set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;” and “A man’s enemies will be those of his own household.” He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.

Family ties are important to us. The family is the first institution God created in the earth. The 5th commandment (Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16) stresses the importance of honoring the family. But family ties cannot stand in the way of God’s will for a person to be saved or to serve the Lord in one’s life. It is a genuine blessing to be raised in a Christian family, but even Christian parents, siblings, spouse, or children cannot interfere with God’s plan for one’s life.

“Father, thank You that I have had the privilege of living in a Christian family and having a Christian wife and daughters. Thank You that they have always supported me and never kept me from following Your will throughout my life. I praise and thank you for them, Amen.”


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