Monday, April 13, 2009

More Than We Bargain For

And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he 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 12:49-50


When we choose to follow Jesus, we get much more than we bargain for. This episode shows that Jesus saw the relationship that He had with His followers as more dear than that even of His own family. They wanted to speak with Him, but He chose to use the moment to talk about what was really dear to him. We know from the gospel of John that His brothers may have followed in the wake of His ministry, but they did not believe in Him. Perhaps they wished to speak with Him because of the controversy He had just created with the Jewish leaders. For whatever reason, Jesus contrasts His family with His disciples. When He asked His disciples to make allegiance to God greater than allegiance to family, He knew what He was asking from His own experience.

Of course, to be loved as family is the dearest love. And that is exactly what Jesus offered His men. He brought them to Him in relationship that was more intimate than a mere master/pupil environment common with the rabbis of His day. He brought them into a new family. And He viewed them as the closest of friends.

The same is true with disciples today. Jesus loves us dearly. He asks that our allegiance to Him surpass all earthly relationships, but then He gives us the best relationships even with our family that we could ever imagine. A relationship with Jesus gives full perspective on all our own relationships with people. We are blessed to be following Him and there is joy with all the people in our lives as a result.

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