The Royal Family

Jesus beautifully highlights the importance of applying mercy to the rules, regulations and ceremonies followed. The law was meant to help, not hamper; to reach out in mercy, not merely ceremony.

Overview

Bible Passages: Matthew 12:46-50;Mark 3:31-35; Luke 8:19-21; John 15:14; 46

Introduction

Critical enemy anointed family

Condescending family – appointed family

Celebrating devotee – adopted family

Comparisons

Insiders or outsiders

Discussion

Objectives

To:

  • Ensure we are part of God’s adopted royal family
  • Understand how some thought they were insiders but were considered outsiders of the family
  • Overcome dangers of being outsiders

Bible Passage

Matthew 12:46 While He was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. 47 Someone said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You.”48 But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” 49 And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”

Introduction

In the wake of repeated retaliation and rejection from the Pharisees, even after Jesus’ undisputedly displays his Lordship, Jesus’ family appears. Perhaps nudged by the Pharisees, but clearly not in full understanding as yet.

We see three players in this passage and prior (context):

  • The religious leaders: Condemning enemy – anointed family
  • Jesus’ mother and brothers: Condescending family – appointed family
  • Jesus’ disciples: Celebrating devotee – adopted family

Condemning Enemy – Anointed Family

Anointed by God the Pharisees’, and leaders’  worship was wasted, their words blasphemous in Christ’s eyes.

Instead of keeping the law, they were tripping others with it.

Instead of drawing to God and bringing others with them, they plagued anyone who came anywhere close.

They went to the extent of conspiring to murder him

By condemning Jesus, Jesus prophecies that their own sons will condemn them.

Reflection

Before we condemn the Pharisees, let us not fall into the same trap, but introspect Pharisaical attitudes in our lives.

What pharisaical attitudes do we see in the church today?

Which of these are seeping into our own lives?

What lessons can we learn from Jesus to tackle them?

Condescending Family – appointed family

In the absence of his father, Jesus had probably been playing role as head for a while. We know his brothers did not believe in him (ref John 7:1-4).

John 7:1 After these things Jesus was walking in Galilee, for He was unwilling to walk in Judea because the Jews were seeking to kill Him. 2 Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was near. 3 Therefore His brothers said to Him, “Leave here and go into Judea, so that Your disciples also may see Your works which You are doing. 4 For no one does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known publicly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” 5 For not even His brothers were believing in Him.

Condescending Family – appointed family

In another situation (passage in John 7:1-4):

  • They did not realize his life was in danger
  • They misunderstood his motives/ desires ”seeks to be known publicly”
  • Their advice turned counterproductive
  • They did not consider themselves in the category of his disciples

condescending Family – appointed family

Observe the behaviour

Matthew 12:46 While He was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him.

While he was speaking, they:

  • wanted to interrupt
  • were standing outside
  • wanted to talk, (not listen)
  • approached him through someone ..

What attitudes do we sense in his brothers?

Condescending Family – appointed family

Even people in the hometown were offended. They reject Him.

Mark 6:3 Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon? Aren’t His sisters here with us as well? And they took offense at Him. 4Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is without honor only in his hometown, among his relatives, and in his own household.”

Even Jesus was “amazed at their unbelief” Mark 6:6

Reflection

So near and yet so far

We, as God’s chosen people, also tend to take Jesus for granted and shut out what he is saying. Even the devout Mary, his mother, seems to be in the defaulter’s category at this point. She is as human as all of us.

How do we do that – interrupt, talk, require mediators?

Celebrating devotee Family – adopted family

Clearly Jesus knew the motives of his mother and brothers presence (leaving us guessing that probably it was to protect him). He also uses the mediator to contrast them with his disciples.

Matthew 12:49 And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”

Celebrating devotee Family – adopted family

They are inside

They are listening

They are obeying

They are not interrupting

They are not using mediators to talk

They honour me

They are my REAL family

Reflect on what each of these mean today for us to deserve to be called His disciples..

Celebrating devotee Family – adopted family

Outsiders or insiders?

Only one criteria – doing God’s will qualifies us to be part of THE ROYAL FAMILY

Being inside Jesus’ zone often means

  • Being outside popular zones
  • Valuing what others don’t
  • Having associations despised by others
  • Letting go to let God.. and much more..

Discussion

1.What mindsets represent the Royal Family?

2.What situations cause us to interrupt or ignore Christ?

3.What changed Christ’s brothers from neutral advisors to strong believers?

4.What do we need to do to strengthen our position in the Royal Family?

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