There are several metaphors and images provided in Scripture that communicate a close connected relationship between God and his people. Shepherd and sheep; head and body; cornerstone and building; and, in the Gospel lesson for today Jesus uses the opportunity of his mother and siblings showing up to say that everyone who does God’s will is his mother, brothers and sisters.
This is not a deprecation of Jesus’ own family. Rather, this is an amazing statement of a new order being established – a covenant not based on being a certain kind of person. The religious elite, the wealthy, the ones having always had clean living do not have the corner on being God’s special people. Any and all persons can come into a close familiar relation with God. So, we see folks like prostitutes, lepers, the blind, tax collectors, and anyone on the margins of typical mainstream society becoming the center of a new Jesus movement. One comes to God simply by doing his will – which means for Jesus that people acknowledge that he is the way, the truth, and the life. In other words, belief in Jesus constitutes the true work of entering God’s forever family.
You or I need not attempt to clean up our act in order to come to God. Instead, we must come humbly to Jesus acknowledging our great need and receive grace – the mercy of entering into close relation with God in Christ. Just as we did not choose our earthly family of origin, so we do not and cannot move in and out of God’s family as if it were based on our choice. God makes outsiders insiders and vice versa. It is all about God and his wonderful grace to people through Jesus. This is truly good news!
O God, thank you for your amazing grace to me in Christ! I praise you for adopting me into your family and making me a part of your church. I pray that this wonder will stick with me as I take advantage of all the family privileges and responsibilities I possess through Jesus. Amen.