My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it – Luke 8:21
Here Jesus describes his spiritual family members.
Many today, and through the centuries since Jesus spoke these words, have claimed affiliation with him. But Jesus’ own words rebuke his would-be, fair-weather, so-called family members.
Not those who gather large crowds in my name, or gain political clout by my name, or salve their guilty consciences with my name are mine, says Jesus, but those who hear and obey God’s Word. Those who have a true and permanent relationship with me are those who are receptive to God’s Word.
What a high view of Scripture Jesus had! Even in the presence of his biological mother and siblings, Jesus starkly reminds us that a true connection to Christ is not made or maintained through family affiliation. For the definition of his disciples Jesus purposefully chose the rock-solid, unchanging Word of God as the meter of true religion.
Philanthropy does not a Christian make. Good intentions or family pedigree do not define the child of God. Rather God’s Word is the simple, sole barometer that Jesus gives us with which to measure our relationship with him.
What is your relationship to Jesus? Do you merely approve of him, or do you obey him? Those who hear God’s Word and seek to apply it faithfully in their lives are assured that Jesus is, indeed, their close friend and true family member.