Study #4: Jesus' Family

"While He was still speaking to the people, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside asking to speak to Him. But He replied to the man who told Him, 'Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?' And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, 'Here are My mother and brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother, and sister, and mother.'"

Matthew 12:46-50, RSV 


At first glance, one might think that Jesus was being rude to His family by not immediately allowing them in to see Him. But this was not what was going on at all. Jesus was simply pointing out that His family was composed only of those who accepted and did the will of His Father in heaven. At this particular time His brothers did not accept Him as the Messiah. Now that would change after His crucifixion and resurrection from the dead - after all, who better would have known that Jesus really did raise from the dead other than those who had watched Him grow up - and His younger brothers all had seen Him grow up.


In fact, at least two of His brothers, Jude and James, were so convinced that Jesus was the Son of God after He arose from the dead that they devoted the rest of their lives to living as His disciples. Two of the books in the New Testament were authored by these very men!


Still at the time this passage was written, His brothers did not believe and Jesus was making a vital point that we all must learn if we want to be part of His family for all eternity: Only those who follow Him and do the will of God are worthy to be disciples and, therefore, brothers and sisters of Christ.


That, when you think about it, is why you are doing this study in the first place: You want to find out what the will of God is so that you can follow it. And when you follow the will of God, you become a disciple of Christ. And, when you are a disciple of Christ, you become His brother or sister.


Imagine that! Someday, the Savior of the world will welcome you into heaven because you are His brother or sister. That is powerful motivation to encourage us all in our daily studies.


"Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in Him, 'If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples.'"

John 8:31, RSV 


Today is day 4 of the challenge to study through the New Testament in 90 days. with today's study being the 10th through the 12th chapters of the book of Matthew. May God richly bless you as you continue your journey to heaven!