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i) Jesus’ True Relatives
(Matthew 12:46-50)
46While He was still talking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak with Him.47Then one said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You.”48But He answered and said to the one who told Him, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?”49And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers!50For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew10:37;13:15, Mark3:31-35, Luke2:49;8:91-21, Romans2:11, Romans8:29)

Christ gave up talking with the Pharisees, for He saw He could not help them. He continued to talk to the common people, who, not having such a conceit of their knowledge as the Pharisees, were willing to learn.
The persecution against Jesus reached its utmost when the Jews pressed on His relatives to stop His ministry, otherwise they would be punished together with Him and separated from the nation. Jesus’ brothers came to their elder brother, possibly accompanied by their mother to calm them down. However Christ solved the problem firmly. He openly separated himself from His family while keeping His great love for them, which indicates a longsighted spiritual insight. Jesus declared that He was no more related to His physical family, but rather to His disciples in the union of the Holy Spirit. He considered the disciples as the family of God, and in His humility, He was not ashamed of calling men His brothers. What an honor we are given here by the Son of God through this title! He confirmed this awareness in the Lord’s Prayer where He called His Father, “Our Father,” and confirmed our relation with him through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that made us children of God. Do you believe that Jesus is your brother? How do you thank him for this distinction offered to you? Christ commented on that with a word that pleases every heart. He confined the brotherhood in those that do the will of His Father in heaven. But what is the will of God? The evangelist John says, “This is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, will have eternal life” (John 6:40). The apostle Paul adds, “This is the will of God, your sanctification” (1 Thessalonians 4:3). The will of God is our salvation and sanctification.
Christ would not interrupt His speech by going out to see His family. He was so intent upon His work that no distraction should take Him away from it. “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” Not that natural affection is to be put off, or that under pretence of religion, we may be disrespectful to parents or unkind to other relations, but “everything is beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11), and the lesser duty must wait, while the greater is done. When our relationships comes in competition with the service of God, we must say to our Father, “I have not seen him,” as Levi did (Deuteronomy 33:9). The nearest relations must be comparatively rejected, that is, we must love them less than Christ. Our duty to God must have the priority.
No one can fulfill the will of God on his own accord, for then he would be like God Himself. But Christ’s blood cleanses us, and His Spirit enables us to live in a holy manner, and to be certain of Christ’s Sonship and of God’s Fatherhood.
His disciples, who had left all to follow Him and embrace His doctrine, were dearer to Him than any that were related to Him in the flesh. They had put Christ before their own relations. They had left their fathers. To make amends and to show them His love, He put them before His relations. Did not they hereby receive, in point of honor, a hundred fold? (Matthew 19:29).
All obedient believers are near relations to Jesus Christ. They wear His name, bear His image, have His nature, and are of His family. He loves them and converses freely with them as His relations. He bids them welcome to His table, takes care of them, and provides for them. When He died He left them rich legacies. Now that He is in heaven, He keeps up a correspondence with them, and will gather them all to Himself in the end. He will not fail to fulfill the close relative’s obligation (Ruth 3:13). He will never be ashamed of His poor relations, but will confess them before men, before the angels, and before His Father.

Holy Father, We cannot pronounce Your fatherly name without fear and thanks. Help us to consider living in Your spiritual family more important than all our worldly engagements on earth. Help us that we may not fall away, nor deny Your divinity, but do Your will every time and forever. And bless our family members, that they will repent and be saved in your love.
What is the difference between the apostate and the member of God’s family?