Jesus: A Family Man
Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.(1 Tim. 5:1–2)
Followers of Jesus are to consider one another as family, as sacred siblings. Is this mission impossible? Are we able to see one another this way in the family of faith? Yes, God enables us through the power of the Holy Spirit working in our hearts and minds to love one another as siblings. How might our churches be changed if men and women caught this vision and lived it out?
Consider his response to his mother, Mary, and his biological brothers in this interchange: While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to 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” (Matt. 12:46–50) .Undoubtedly Jesus’ biological family felt that, as blood kin, they deserved his attention. He should stop what he was doing and come out to see them.
Although he loved his mother and brothers, Jesus used this occasion to teach an important truth. He had come to create a new kind of family. Not a family related by genes, common heritage, or shared genealogy. It is a faith family, and in this passage, Jesus reveals that this new spiritual family trumps blood kin.
Do you think it’s possible for us to learn to view our brothers as sacred siblings? What are the implications of seeing one another as family, without sexual overtones in the relationship? What difference would “new eyes” make in ministry if we did?