No matter how bad your family is it could always be worse.
I mean, how many of us have had to deal with Dad chopping off our hands with an ancient-yet-futuristic weapon?
While we may not have had to face something so extreme, we can still admit that relatives can fail us.
Blood may be thicker than water, but what do you do when blood turns on you? What do you do when you don’t want anyone to know you’re related to that guy. The embarrassment. The oddball. The kook. The one who brings shame upon the WHOLE family!
And that brings us to the word of the day: NUTJOB
Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. And he was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you.” But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.” (Lk. 8:19-21)
Jesus encountered people turning on him with his own family. His mother and brothers came to “collect him”—they were shamed by his public behavior—and so they tried to label him as crazy. Just quietly put Jesus away so our family doesn’t have to deal with the embarrassment of having him run around ticking off the religious leaders.
But Jesus rejected them.
Instead, he formed a new family—a spiritual family.
Who is my family? Those who hear the word of God and do it.
Blood may be thicker than water, but the Spirit of God is thicker than blood. And so Jesus formed a new kinship group. It’s not about our ties through blood. Now it’s about our ties through a common faith in Jesus.
While you don’t hear it too much anymore, Christians once referred to one another as Brother so-and-so or Sister so-and-so. It represented the new kinship group Christians embraced.
We too often forget that we’re part of this family. We still treat each other as “other than.” We gossip about each other and treat each other like strangers, not like family. When we fully embrace Jesus’ radical view of a spiritual family it will change how we treat each other, talk to each other, and talk ABOUT each other. When we fully embrace Jesus’ radical view of a spiritual family it will play out in how we take care of each other.
Once I knew someone who had been dealing with some housing difficulties. She was told by two different families in the church, “You and your kids can stay with us until you get something worked out.”
This woman then told me:
“That’s more than my own family offered to do.”
I stopped her and said, “No—this IS your family.”
Let’s live like the community Jesus calls us to be—a new kind of family, bonded together with bonds stronger than blood.
We’re going to have some reflection and response time. Think about the message and focus on the words of the songs.
Our first song is called Your Grace Finds Me. It’s a new fave.
From the creation to the cross
From the cross into eternity
Your grace finds me
God’s grace brings us all into this new family!
Our second song this morning is Jesus Paid It All and declares:
Jesus paid it all
All to him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain
He washed it white as snow!
It’s not about maintaining an appearance of holiness. We can’t do anything to be good enough. It’s not about what we can do—it’s about what Jesus has already done!
– How have I been rejected by “family?”
– Have I accepted that I am now welcome into this new family?
– How can I be welcoming towards others who might be looking for a new family?
MAKING IT REAL:
– This week, look to connect with other people of faith and have some family time.
– Identify someone who is an outsider and invite him/her to join your family for a meal, worship, etc.
– At the end of the week share your God moments with us here on the site or on our page at Facebook.
– If you’ve never come to the place in your life where you have decided to be a follower of Jesus and want to know more, please shoot us a message and we’ll be glad to talk to you about what it means to be a follower!
If you’ve been blessed by Pastor Linzey’s ministry, please consider donating to The Church Plant by clicking here.