December 29, 2020
Matthew 12:46-50Walter Johnson
Certified Lay Servant
Ebenezer United Methodist
Three Rivers District
46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside. They wanted to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside. They want to speak to you.”48 Jesus replied to him, “Who is my mother? And who are my brothers?” 49 Jesus pointed to his disciples. He said, “Here is my mother! Here are my brothers! 50 Anyone who does what my Father in heaven wants is my brother or sister or mother.”
Jesus’ Mother and Brothers
DevotionMost persons have probably been offered career impacting advice from a parent, other family members, or a trusted friend. As a result of a particular high school teacher, I developed a love for chemistry. I enrolled at The University of Tennessee to study chemistry, which was interrupted by my mother’s illness. I returned home and began a job search. I had two offers from which to choose. They were an assembly line job in a large TV assembly plant or a laboratory assistant job in a small startup company at less pay. Against family advice, I took the laboratory job and finished a college degree as a part-time student over the next seven years. Fifty years later, the TV plant has been closed for more than twenty years. The small ceramic materials plant is now the world leader in its products.
Jesus also experienced an early family challenge to his committed mission. He began his earthly ministry with a clear view of the challenges that were sure to come from the established religious order of his time. He knew from the declaration made by God in Genesis 3:15 that he would eventually be offered up by mankind as the sacrifice for all sins so that man’s relationship with God could be restored. Jesus is on earth teaching people that their sins can be forgiven without paying the Temple; healing all manner of sickness and disabilities; challenging the Pharisees and Priests; training His disciples who would become the foundation of the first-century church. He has successfully alienated and infuriated the established religious leaders who have planned to have Him eliminated.
Jesus’ family becomes concerned for his safety. They feel that he may have lost his mind (Mk.3:20-21). They possibly could have heard of the Pharisees’ plan to have Jesus killed, and, in Matthew’s account, they have come to convince Jesus to abandon his mission and save his life. This was a reasonable fear and a normal family reaction to that fear. Jesus’ statement in verses 48 and 49 was not a rebuke of his family but rather a reaffirmation of his commitment to complete the assigned mission.
We Christians must be diligent that we do not allow Satan to distract us from our personal missional plans to serve in the Kingdom of Christ. The temptations to change our mission are always enticing; the challenges are constant; the fellow helpers are few; therefore, we must regularly reaffirm our mission. Christ never fainted from His assigned mission and paid the ultimate price for our sins. We must likewise not be distracted from the mission He has assigned to each of us His disciples. Your specific mission is pivotal to the success of God’s plan for His Church. He has specifically prepared and equipped you. If you opt-out, then who will God raise up? Remember Queen Esther challenge from uncle Mordecai.
God has never abandoned His plan to restore His relationship with humanity. God gave His only Son as the sacrifice for our sins.