Week 54 | Section 63

Faith and FamilyIn the midst of a very long day in the life of Christ we learn something of the family of God. Yet if we are to be part of the family of God we must understand and accept Jesus to be the Messiah our Savior, and align our lives toward God’s eternal purpose – to reconcile the world to himself. In this manner we can fulfill the great commission and maintain the bonds of peace and bear good fruit from good seed the within our hearts.


Scripture:

Matthew 12:46-50
46 While he was yet speaking to the multitudes,1 behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, seeking to speak to him. 47 One said to him, “Behold, your mother and your brothers2 stand outside, seeking to speak to you.”3 48 But he answered him who spoke to him, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” 49 He stretched out his hand towards his disciples, and said, “Behold, my mother and my brothers! 50 For whoever does the will4 of my Father who is in heaven,5  he is my brother, and sister, and mother.”6
Mark 3:31-35
31 His mother and his brothers came, and standing outside, they sent to him, calling him. 32 A multitude was sitting around him, and they told him, “Behold, your mother, your brothers, and your sisters are outside looking for you.” 33 He answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34 Looking around at those who sat around him, he said, “Behold, my mother and my brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God is my brother, my sister, and mother.”7 
Luke 6:19-21
19 His mother and brothers came to him, and they could not come near him for the crowd. 20 Some people told him, “Your mother and your brothers stand outside, desiring to see you.” 21 But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers8 are these who hear9 the word10 of God, and do it.”11

Group Dialog:

  1. What does it look like when a person is doing the will of the Father?
  2. What is the common purpose and identity of the family of God?
  3. How is the church strengthened when we share this common identity?
  4. What causes you to forget/neglect the invitational imperative to share in the ministry of reconciliation?
  5. What forces divide us from functioning as the family of God?
  6. What should our intent and behavior be toward those who are not yet part of the family of God?

Learning Objectives:

There is a common bond among us – when we are believers and followers of Jesus, the family of God; members in the family must believe in the identity of Jesus Christ, his ministry of redemption, and then take part in (DO) the ministry of reconciliation fulfilling the Great Commission as faithful stewards of our vocation.


Study Notes:

  1. This is right after Jesus had liberated a demoniac in the midst of a large crowd (Mk 3:20) which sadly resulted in two sharp interactions with the Pharisees who were threatened by his presence. In his response, Jesus was clear about his identity as the Son of Man, the Messiah, and also of his resurrection.
  2. How Many siblings did Jesus have?  He appears to have had at least two sisters and four brothers (James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas). Which brothers were outside with his mother? We don’t know but most likely all four as Jesus is back in Galilee, near to home.
  3. Why did they want to speak to him? We think the answer is seen in Mark 3:21 (Week 52 Section 61) as his family sought to restrain him probably because their own reputation is tied to Jesus’ actions and statements.
  4. The Greek word here is thelema (G2307) “what one wishes or has determined shall be done of the purposes of God to bless mankind through Christ”
  5. The emphasis in Matthew is Father in heaven, Mark the action of the will of God, and in Luke the listening and doing.
  6. He says here, I AM and if you want to be apart of my family, you will accept me as the Messiah and follow me, and then go about the will of God which is the ministry of reconciliation (2Cor 5:11-21) thus fulfilling the Great Commission (Mt 28″19-20). In such belief and action we are bonded in a common purpose (Eph 4:11-13) and as members of the family (Mt 28:10; Heb 2:11-17; 1Jn 3:1) of God (Eph 2).
  7. This passage speaks to this common understanding, identity, and alignment of purpose (redemption and reconciliation) and we will see in the passages ahead and to some extent those from the past year about discerning the will of God in the circumstances of our life. Read also 1Jn 3:23-24; John 15:14; Mt 7:20-21
  8. Read Jer 29:13; 1Tim 5:2; Rom 8:29
  9. Luke, who is writing to a Greek audience uses the Greek word is akouo (G191) “to understand, comprehend, perceive and attend to”. After this teaching Jesus speaks to the crowd offering nine parables about the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven. This indicates that the “will” of which he speaking of in these verses of the synoptic Gospels is that of the Eternal Prupose to redeem humanity and infill us with the Holy Spirit and so that we can aid him in the ministry of reconciliation (2Cor 2:11-21) thus fulfilling the Great Commission. After nine parables he then asks the disciples (see Mt 13:36), “Have you understood all these things?”. Friends its imperative that we remain united as the church on the eternal purpose of God, united in faith because we have been adopted into the family of God by measure of His grace. In this family we all participate in the will of God which is to reconcile the world to himself. We do this differently. At the same time this truth is one part of the analogy (parables) which Jesus is about to explain in nine parables, four of which speak of good seed, the fruit it produces, and the harvest in the end of times. But as disciples when we take the whole of Scripture we see that the good fruit in us also bears fruit as the vine is trained, pruned, and nurtured to do so. The analogy looks like this “good seed:good fruit :: good fruit:good deeds” (1Jn 3:9).
  10. Greek logos (G3056).
  11. Read: Jn 6:29; Lk 11:27-28; James 1:21-22; Heb 5:9