In today’s gospel Mark 3:31-35, while Jesus is preaching, His mother and brothers arrived. Probably because of the crowd, they could not go in to see Him. They sent a message asking to speak with Him. When Jesus was told that His brothers and sisters are outside looking for Him, Jesus asks “who are my mother and my brothers, then He points at those who are close to Him and refers to them as His brothers and sisters. He says ‘Anyone is willing to do the will of God is my mother, sister and brother’.
What this Does not Infer,
1. This encounter does not mean that Jesus has other blood brothers and sisters. The greek word ἀδελφοὶ (adelphoi) used here does not necessarily indicate blood relationship. It also indicates cousins or relatives. There is nowhere in the bible anyone is referred to as the Son of Mary except Jesus. The bible uses the greek word υἱὸς (huios) meaning son when referring to Jesus and Mary in Mark 6:3 but uses adelphos for others. Also, there is nowhere in the bible, the Blessed Virgin Mary is mentioned as a mother to anyone if not Jesus.
2. It does not also mean that Jesus neglected His mother or that His mother was not among those He is referring to. In actual fact, Jesus’ statement applauds Mary all the more because She is the first to say yes to God in the New Testament. It was her obedience that led to the birth of the Messiah. It is this same Jesus who does not wish His mother to be lonely and suffer, handed her over to the beloved apostle at the cross.
3. Jesus is not telling us to hate or abandon our natural family. In fact, part of doing the will of God is to create peace, unity and love in our families.
Three Qualities of those Jesus is referring to
When Jesus was asking; who are my mother and my brothers”? First of all, He points to those 1. Who are close to Him
2. Who are listening to Him and hence says
3. Those who are willing to do the will of God.
So to belong to the family of Jesus goes beyond hearing the word. It is more of listening and doing the will of God. To do this is to form a spiritual tie with the Lord. Hence this means we create a relationship which is far better than the love and bond we share in our different families. Every family enjoys three things mostly; Love, Bond, and Intimacy. Wherever the name of a family is mentioned, every member of that family becomes involved. Whatever happens to one, affects the other. When we belong to this family, Jesus now becomes part of us. He becomes deeply involved in everything that we do.
If We want to truly belong.
1. To belong to this family, then we have to be very close to the Lord and create a personal relationship with Him. This goes beyond going to church every day. This is allowing Jesus to become part of whatever we do.
2. We have to develop sincere love in listening to His word. This is when we derive Joy in attending worship to hear what the Lord has to tell us for the day.
Hence this does not mean when you go to worship for the sake of showing how pretty you are or showing the latest cloth, shoes and bangles you wear. It does not mean when you go to church only during thanksgiving and donation to show how wealthy you have become. If the worship we attend every day or every week does not come from that deep and earnest desire for the Lord, then we need to have a rethink.
3. Finally, this is when we choose to do the will of God over our own will or anybody’s will. Like Joseph, once God approves, we are already on the go. This is when we do this not necessarily for the sake of our personal glory, not for what we shall gain nor show people that we are holy but only for the love we have for our God.
4. Doing the will of God also involves living a life of intimate communion with God through prayers, bringing peace where there is none, helping the needy and the poor, always truthful and removing every atom of hatred, evil, wickedness, envy, deceitful life etc.
5. It is not the will of God to see the truth and turn it upside down. It is not the will of God to continually bring problems and disunity wherever we are. God does not even support us when we become heart hardened and refuse to forgive those who wronged us. It is not the will of God to promise someone marriage when it is not truly your intention. When you know that your aim is only to deceive.
It is not also the will of God that we should be lazy, doing nothing. He gave you the talent to work with. God does not love it when we waste our gifts and talents doing nothing.
6. It is not the will of God when we try to help only because of our selfish desires. It is not the will of God that we should intimidate the innocent, orphans, widows. etc because of our positions. The will of God is shown in the type of life we are living both secret and open.
May God bless you beloved and forgive us of our sins. May He give you the strength to remain strong in Him. Amen