Then his mother and his brothers came. As they stood outside, they sent someone to call him. The crowd sitting around Jesus told him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside asking for you.” He replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?”
And looking around at those who sat there, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does the will of God is brother and sister and mother to me.”
Having a loving, supportive family is truly a blessing in today’s fragmented world where such a family is becoming increasingly rare. While no family is perfect, some experience greater levels of brokenness than others. Jesus’ question, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” seems hurtful to hear if you were his family. Yet, Jesus is not suffering from a sudden attack of amnesia in asking this question. He is not denying his relationship with his biological family; he is merely pointing out what makes us part of God’s family. The belief that “blood is thicker than water” no longer applies. In fact, Jesus inverts this thinking based on his experience of baptism during which he was confirmed and affirmed as God’s Son. For him, the waters of baptism that transform our identity as God’s children, making us brothers and sisters to one another, become a stronger bond in the Spirit than blood ties. Water then becomes thicker than blood in God’s family. Spiritual and not physical kinship is the basis of relationships in the new dispensation. Those who are willing to receive Jesus through faith and baptism and do the will of God as he did, become his true family.
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