Now his mother and brothers came to him, and they were not able to meet with him because of the crowd. And it was reported to him, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside wanting to see you.” But he answered and said to them, “These are my mother and my brothers—the ones who hear the word of God and do it.” (Luke 8:19–21, LEB)

Jesus turns “family” right on its head here, and yet we know that he does not reject his biological family all the way to the cross.  What gives?

For Jesus, every event is a chance to communicate truth, even the fact that his biological family [mother and brothers] want to see him.  Jesus’ response to this event is to point out that his “family” is all those “who hear the word of God and do it.”

Just to clarify, Jesus’ message is to communicate again and again that the kingdom of heaven is at hand, that God has spoken in his word, by his prophets, and finally by Jesus himself, and that God’s word ought to be heard and obeyed.  Now he says that those who heed this very message are Jesus’ family.

We might think that this message means that Jesus is rejecting his biological family, but this is not true.  Jesus is so concerned for the welfare of his mother that even at the cross he provides for her.

When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.” (John 19:26–27, ESV)

Modern families?  Jesus was proclaiming modern families way, way before it was trendy.

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