Be Still Know
Matthew 12:48 NLT
Jesus asked, ‘Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?’
As we look at family this week, it is well to recall that while we construct family units here on earth through marriage, Jesus tells us that there is no marriage in heaven. So the place for marriage and family is to reveal the character of kingdom relationships on the earth; it serves to create what some have called the ‘domestic church’. The New Testament records that many coming to faith in Christ did so as ‘households’. The family unit became the space in which the teaching of Christ through word and example was practised and taught. And so it is intended today.
Travelling to a congregational meeting on a Sunday, I can remember occasions when the atmosphere in the car was thick with antagonism and disagreement. Walking into church, both Katey and I were suddenly all smiles and charming. And once we left, the unresolved conflict, usually of no consequence, took centre stage again. If we are unable to resolve conflicts within the domestic church, we are unlikely to be able to contribute much to the broader congregation. Your home is the true measure of the character of your Christian life; your family members the best witnesses to your faithful discipleship.
Jesus also reminds us that while he grew up as part of a human family, he also introduced the radical new concept of the family of God. You and I are family through the blood shed at Calvary. This makes us blood family. Hence, in the Gospel, when advised his mother and brothers wanted to speak to him, Jesus described family not in domestic terms but in kingdom terms, ‘whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother’ (Matthew 12:50, NKJV). While we are to respect and implement the scriptural commitment to our natural family, especially important with an ageing population in need of loving care, we are to remember that we have also been called to serve the family of God, the global Christian family of every tribe and tongue.
QUESTION: Are there areas where the demands of your family and the kingdom conflict?
PRAYER: Father, teach me how to live out the Christian life of prayer and service in the home as well as in the world.