Lessons Of A Lifetime

THE FLESH AND BLOOD FAMILY
OR
THE EXTENDED ETERNAL FAMILY OF GOD
SUNDAY DEC. 22, 2019

Scripture To Consider:
“While Jesus was still talking to the multitudes, behold His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak to Him. Then one said to Him, ‘Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak to You.’”

“But Jesus answered and said to the one who told Him, ‘Who is My mother and who are My brothers?’ And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, ‘Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.’ Matthew 12.46-50

Something To Consider:
Jesus, having been rejected by most of the religious elite, was still talking to the multitudes. He took every available opportunity to speak, preach, or to teach those who would listen to Him concerning spiritual lessons of a lifetime. And while others were listening to the words of Jesus, His mother and brothers came seeking to speak with Him. We are not told what it was that they wanted to speak to Jesus about. It is possible that they were concerned for His safety or concerned about His sanity.

Jesus had just called a group of Pharisees a brood of vipers. He had declared them leaders of an evil and adulterous generation. He also insinuated the possibility of these leaders themselves being full of unclean spirits. Was Jesus knowingly making enemies or was He without fear and intimidation knowingly and publicly identifying His enemies?

Paul writing in 1 Timothy 1.7, as mentioned in prior lessons, proclaimed; “For God has not given us [true saints of God] a spirit of fear, but [a spirit] of power and [a spirit] of love and [a spirit] of a sound [clear thinking] mind.” Therefore, we too should never be intimidated by our many enemies, seen or unseen. Jesus is our best biblical example we are to follow.

Something Else To Consider:
Instead of Jesus’ mother and brothers being a part of the multitude and listening intently to His words, they stood outside. John writing in chapter 7 of his gospel revealed that Jesus’ own brothers did not believe in Jesus. Mark wrote that Jesus’ own family at one point, attempted to lay hold of Him thinking He was out of His mind. Two thousand years of Christianity has well proven the fact that one’s enemies may very well be of one’s own flesh and blood family.

But Jesus drew a distinct difference between flesh and blood family and blood bought Christian community. When men and women walked with Jesus, they sensed a closer than family bond of fellowship. That should be what we experience as believers and if we do not, then there may be a breakdown in our Christian principles. God’s delight is a strong bond to be extended to and within the true eternal family of God.

If at all possible, we are to heed the biblical instruction of the apostle Paul in Ephesians 4 beginning in verse 1. “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with long-suffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

If we can grasp this concept of lowliness, gentleness, longsuffering, and bearing with one another in love while endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, we will emulate the true example of Christ to the world. If we too become prisoners of Jesus Christ, we will have less difficulty becoming and remaining the salt of the earth and the light of the world!

Something More To Consider:
When the question of mother and brother arose, Jesus rose to the occasion to draw attention to His disciples. He declared them to be His mother and brothers. He explained that those who had left everything to follow Him, had become His family. He also proclaimed for the biblical record, that those who would do the will of His Father in heaven, were His mother and brothers and sisters.

Therefore, we must take great care in noticing that Jesus said, “For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.” Jesus did not say or suggest that whoever knows the will of God to be part of His family. Nor did He say whoever understands the will of God would become a part of His family. But rather, whoever does the will of God is an integral part and appreciated member of His extended eternal family of God.

Are we standing inside or outside of God’s family today? If inside, then the divine power of God’s Spirit is available to us as was available to the early church. And if we find that difficult to believe, let us hear what Luke, by way of God’s inspiration declared in Acts chapter 2 beginning in verse 17. “And it shall come to pass in the last days [end times], says God, ‘That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophecy [proclaim the truth of God’s Word]. Your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophecy [proclaim the Word of God].’”

Luke continued God’s discourse in verse 19, by stating; “I [God] will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before [not after] the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” And we say, “Come quickly Lord Jesus!”

A Few Final Words:
In closing our lesson on The Flesh And Blood Family or The Extended Eternal Family Of God, let us heed the admonition of James 1.21-22. “Therefore, lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted Word [Word of God], which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”

I understand this is a tall order for those of us desiring to live godly in Christ Jesus and yet being so much aware of the frailty of our flesh. And yet, if we are truly a part of the extended eternal family of God, we should be walking in lowliness of mind and in gentleness as second nature, and in all longsuffering of evil against us by others or ourselves.

Therefore, we should be endeavoring at all times as much as is possible to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace among others in the extended eternal family of God. And yet, the extended eternal family of God is not exclusive to one race, one nation, or one culture. It extends to all who are willing to do the will of God while believing in Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

As we celebrate this Christmas season, let us pray for and so love our flesh and blood family as our heavenly Father has loved us while we were yet sinners. And let us remember the words of Jesus, “For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.” Or, whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is indeed a member in the extended eternal family of God. Have a very Merry Christmas!

Prayer:
Our Father in heaven, may the family of God be extended to all those standing in need and willing to do Your will in Jesus Christ. In Him Always, Amen!

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