Daily Devotional - 29 July 2020
“Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother” (Mark 3:35).
Many people who have come to faith in Jesus come to a point in their lives when they must choose. The choice faced them is not between serving God or themselves–we know we are to make God the centre of our lives, even when we don’t get it perfectly right. The choice I am talking about is far more difficult–the choice between loyalty to God or our families. Ask anyone; family expectations and our desire not to disappoint those closest to us have the ability to pull us away from God’s desires for us when they don’t align. Today, I’d like for us to consider Jesus’ moment of decision and how He made His choice between His earthly family and His heavenly Father.
When I was younger, I really didn’t appreciate Jesus’ response to His being told His mother and brothers were outside the house where He was teaching; they had come to the house and sent in a message that they wanted Him to come out so that they could talk with Him. I found His reply cold and even harsh, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” (3:33), before turning to those around Him and identifying those who obeyed God as His true family. I was most familiar with Matthew’s version of the story and I could find no reason in the retelling of the events for Jesus to respond in such a manner.
It wasn’t until my early adulthood, as I was reading Mark’s version of the same story, did the events come clear. Mark provides a detail that Matthew does not, “One time Jesus entered a house, and the crowds began to gather again. Soon he and his disciples couldn’t even find time to eat. When his family heard what was happening, they tried to take him away. ‘He’s out of his mind,’ they said” (3:20-21). Jesus’ mother and brothers thought he had gone crazy! They weren’t there just to talk, but to literally cart Him away–white jacket and all. Jesus’ words are not just about His association with His new family–those who obeyed the will of God–they were also a rebuke for His earthly family, who were acting in direct contradiction to God’s intended will and design. He saw right through their well-meaning concern to their blindness. Even His mother Mary had lost sight of Jesus’ earthly purpose. His was to do the will of His heavenly Father–nothing more, nothing less.
There are times in our lives when we will also be faced with a similar choice–do we bow to the pressures from our earthly families or take our stand on God’s side, even when the ones we love most do not understand or support us? Just as God can use our families to help us in our decision-making, they can also act to discourage us from following in obedience of the One to whom we owe our first loyalties. When a choice is called for, seek God’s will first and align yourself with His priorities and call. Better to disappoint our earthly families, than the One who has made you with a purpose and called you into His service.
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!