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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....Listen to Radio Podcast featured on Moody Radio April 17 2024 

Mark 036 - Family Identified

“Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.

Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

Mark 3:33-35

Who’s closer than you mom and dad? Your brothers, your sisters? Your aunts and uncles, your cousins? They are the people who were all around you from the beginning. They are the greatest influences on who you’ve become.

My mom was the rock and workhorse of our family. She worked in the house while my dad worked outside. She did all the washing, cleaning, shopping, cooking, organizing. And when we went fishing, she took our catch, cleaned them, scaled them, cutting off their heads, gutted them. She made vats of homemade spaghetti sauce and crab soup.

My dad went to work each and every day, no matter what. Sometimes he got called in the middle of the night to free someone who got stuck in a hospital elevator. He added two bedrooms upstairs and finished the basement, including a bathroom. He did carpentry, electrical, concrete, masonry, plumbing, appliance repair, and auto mechanic work to name a few.

My brother was seven years older and much, much taller and stronger than me. When we joined the neighborhood pool, someone asked if he’d like to join the swim team. He jumped in the pool and started setting all county speed records. This led to his scholarship to a local, private college.

While we had all the pieces of the Cleaver family, mother, father, and two boys, we weren’t anything like the show. They were quiet, calm, people who spoke with patience and listened to each other. We were at the total opposite side of the family universe.

We were loud, we yelled and screamed at each other. Nobody listened to each other, we were always talking over one another. It was a constant contest to be noticed by someone, anyone.

No matter what, families are together. Families get together. Each Christmas and Easter we gathered with my mom’s family for homemade spaghetti and ravioli. After that, we gathered with my dad’s family for Polish ham, turkey, kapusta (Polish sauerkraut), Kielbasa (Polish sausage), and Krusciki (Polish Bowties.)

No matter what happened, no matter what they said, no matter what they did, we were family. We were committed by birth, by blood to one another, to our family. There wasn’t anything that we wouldn’t do for our family.

When it came time to put in our driveway, all the uncles showed up and pushed wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of wet concrete up the hill and dumped it into the concrete forms. Afterwards, they all pitched in to spread it around, level it, and then troweling it smooth.

When Jesus identifies his family, this is the kind of commitment he’s talking about. His brother, his sister, and his mother are the ones who do God’s will. They don’t talk about it, they don’t write about it, they don’t debate it, they don’t post about it. They do it. Period.

Which brings up the question, how much family evidence is there for our relationship with Jesus? Are we sitting around at the feet of Jesus, getting to know him more and more? And does that then translate and motivate us to do God’s will for our lives?

And this family evidence doesn’t just happen at Christmas and Easter but is a constant focus and ongoing activity. It’s at the center of who we are. What we do. Who we serve. Who we hang around with.

We do not enter into God’s family because of what we do, what we know, or where we’ve been. Becoming family is only because of who Jesus is and what he did. We are born into his family, and then there is family evidence that is available for all to see.

The people that Jesus identified as his brother, sister, and mother had come to him. They left what they were doing, where they were, and decided it was more important to be with Jesus than anything else. He was the priority. He was the reason to stop everything else. He was the reason for living. And when they got to Jesus, they stopped everything else and gave him their undivided attention

Is that how we live? Is Jesus the priority of our life? Is he our reason for living? Is he the one who energizes and prioritizes us in our daily life? And when we finally do get with Jesus, do we give him our undivided attention? Do we turn off our cell phones, quiet our minds and lives? When will we shut up, sit at his feet, and listen carefully to each and every word? Do we take it in, or just let it slide by?

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