Jesus’ Family Issues

When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother told Him, “They don’t have any wine.”  “What has this concern of yours to do with Me,woman?” Jesus asked. “My hour has not yet come.”

How did Jesus relate to His Own Family?

You know what it is to have access to someone else’s ear so that you can plead someone else’s case, right?  That is what is happening here.  Jesus and His mother were guests at a wedding and the host ran out of wine.  Mary knew Jesus could do something and presumed upon His divinity.  But Jesus exalts his sonship to His Father above his sonship to his mother.  Jesus showed allegiance to God’s will over His mother’s will. He felt it necessary to make the point that no physical relationship on earth controlled him and His family would have no special advantage. 

How about James,the half-brother of Jesus?  He grew up in the same household yet failed to recognize his brother’s divine nature.  Family ties and sibling issues obscured his vision.  (Often, what is right under our noses is veiled to us.)  I’m sure that as James grew older, he was haunted by a certain conversation he had with Jesus’ as his brother’s public ministry was about to begin.  “If you want to be known publicly,” James said, “then go to Jerusalem to the Feast of Booths.  Do your works there so that your notoriety grows.”  The undertone of slick marketing was not lost on the Son of God. It wasn’t until after Jesus death and resurrection that James’ spiritual eyes were opened.  

Jesus had to work against the assumption of His day that His family of origin had an inside track of influence.  Recall the time in Luke 11 that a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to Jesus. ‘Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!  But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

Or another time, in Mark 3, the people called out to him while he was speaking in a house: “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.’  And he answered them,‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’  And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers!’  Followers, not family, have a saving relationship with Jesus.

If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple.  Luke 14:26  (Hate means preference.)  But this is not an easy way to live. 

Families struggle with issues of loyalty where faith is concerned.  If all are not believers, there’s no friction like kingdom friction.  The clash between God’s kingdom and Satan’s kingdom can bring about declared war inside the family unit. The only One who has ultimate rights to my life is the One who created me. 

Oh Father, my love and loyalty to my family is always trumped by my allegiance to You. Amen

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