Devotion for May 2, 2024

“He replied, ‘My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.’” (Luke 8:21)

Does Jesus really snub His own family? Jesus seems to turn the word of their arrival into a teaching moment for those gathered around Him. I think this is an early description of what will become the larger, eternal family that He calls the Church. Let’s explore that concept.

At Christian youth camps, leaders and campers form a sort of temporary family for the time they are together. By that, I mean that the connections are deeper than they might be when you just get together for a few hours at a time. Sometimes, this family-building is harder than others as we negotiate our relationships with one another.

Often, there is a “group deal” to guide how we treat one another and the property where we gather. We want to be a respectful community; however, even more so, we want to reflect Christ’s light to one another. (Some workplaces have similar practices.)

You might say in today’s text that Jesus expresses a group deal for those who would join His family — to hear God’s word and put it into practice.

In the Bible, we see a progressive expansion of family imagery as it describes God’s people. In the Old Testament, Yahweh sets one nation apart as holy. Jesus goes further, introducing the idea that He could call each one of us His sisters and brothers. On the other side of Jesus’ resurrection, the epistle writers (for example, Romans 8:14–17) share their wonder that we indeed are children of God — it’s a fact!

Jesus draws us together as a family into Christ’s light. As we form a new family — which will last forever — we have a part to play. Moving from darkness to light means following where Jesus leads and encouraging others to do the same.

Prayer

Lord, I thank You for being a part of Your family, brothers and sisters together sharing the gift of Your promises. Help me to faithfully follow Your Word and share that Word to those who don’t know it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Stay encouraged!

Pastor Mike

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