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Jan 20 / Chuck Smith, Jr.

Day Forty – Matthew 12:46-50

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you

“For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”
Matthew 12:50

What do you suppose the disciples of Jesus were doing at the moment he stretched his hand toward them and said, “Behold My mother and My brothers!”? They were probably doing what we are doing right now; that is, trying to get to know him, to learn from him, and to figure out what God wanted from them. They certainly were not trying to look religious or act pious. Nor were they busy doing “ministry”–at least not at that moment.

Sitting there, listening to Jesus, they were doing the will of his heavenly Father.

Can you imagine being there and overhearing someone tell the Lord that his family was outside wishing to speak with him? Would that make you feel a little distant from Jesus, as though someone else had a prior claim on his time and attention? Would you think, “Of course he will leave us to go out to his family”? Would it bring to mind the fact that you are not his family and cannot expect him to treat you as he would them?

Jesus redefined family and in so doing, oddly enough, he excluded some people who were related to him by DNA and included others who barely knew him. The wonder of it, is that he drew a circle large enough to include you. In fact, he hoped to include you. He hoped you would follow him into a life of devotion to the will of God.

The Lord’s biological mother and brothers were on the outside–both outside the home he was in and the circle he drew. Had they chosen not to go inside? Were they worried that by going inside they would only encourage his unstable mental state? (See Mk. 3:20-21). Was he an embarrasment to them? Jesus left them “outside.”

How would you write the end of this story? Would it be, “And after saying this, Jesus got up and went outside to greet his mother and brothers”? If so, then the impact of what he had said would be lost. Those inside would have to assume that he had referred to them as family metaphorically. That would make for a bad ending.

Lord Jesus, You did the very thing You challenge us to do–You separated Yourself from earthly attachments to embrace us as Your treasured love. Grant us the grace to be Your brother and Your sister, to detach from our hearts every loyalty that would compete with You or diminish our life in God. Thank You for taking us as Your own.

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