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Read:     Mark 3:20-35

“For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” – Matthew 12:50

When Jesus began His public ministry at age 30, many people were surprised.  Perhaps it was a change of professions (carpenter to rabbi) but people from His hometown were saying, “Isn’t that Mary and Joseph’s son?”  For His part Jesus famously said, “no one is a prophet in his own hometown”.  Maybe there was the change in His personality, from quiet and unassuming, to outspoken and engaging.  There are some questions that we don’t have the answers to, only speculation.  Whatever the case the change was unsettling.  Jesus healed someone on the Sabbath and that offended the Pharisees.  Then Jesus healed someone by casting out an evil spirit and the pharisees didn’t like it- they accused Jesus of having a demon, Himself, and they began plotting to kill Jesus.  Yikes!

A rumor was going around that Jesus had gone out of His mind (Mk 3:21).  That’s when Mary and Jesus’ brothers came looking for Him.  It had become dangerous.  They were coming to take Him away for His own protection.  They come to a house where Jesus is inside teaching a large crowd.  The crowd tells Jesus, “Your Mother and brothers are outside” but Jesus says something fascinating:  “Who are my Mother, and brothers, and sisters?  Those who do the will of my Heavenly Father is my brother, and sister and mother.”  We don’t know if Jesus saw His nuclear family that day – we do know that Jesus didn’t change His course of action – doing the will of His Heavenly Father.  That’s a bigger challenge than most people realize.  It can upset our friends, our family, or even the authorities. Staying true to our understanding of who God is, who we are, and what God’s will is for our lives is vastly important.  It’s about our core self:  our authenticity and integrity.

Today Jesus reminds us that those who do God’s will are His family. Those who do the will of the Heavenly Father are living the truth that they are “the children of God”. So, bottomline:  “what is the will of the Heavenly Father?”  To love God, and to love others.  Our actions define us even more than our words and beliefs.

Shalom,

Pastor Rob Nystrom