INTRO: Relationships are important to human beings. We are social creatures with a great need to interact with other people. Some relationships are those of nature. So, we talk about our families: fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, and such. Then, there are the relationship we choose because of their attractiveness. So, we have our friends with whom we enjoy companionship and company. Other relationship are more distant ... those of our workplace, of commerce, etc. But when Jesus came upon the scene, He came with a message which caused human relationships to be turned upside down. "Family" took on a whole new meaning in discipleship. Our text presents us with what was probably considered a stunning teaching.
I. "...HIS BRETHREN AND HIS MOTHER..."
A. Mark notes that "there came then..."
1. why had they come?
2. from v. 21 we realize they had come to "protect" Jesus from Himself
3. the word "friends" in the KJV may also be translated "kinsmen"
4. so, here are Mary and His four brothers in an "intervention"
B. Had Mary forgotten those events early in Jesus' life?
1. angels, shepherds, wise men from the east, Simeon, Anna, at the temple at twelve years of age?
2. could Mary simply be expressing a mother's deep concern for a child?
3. could a mother's concerns override knowledge of events years past?
4. and where was Joseph? probably, Joseph had already passed away
C. And what of the brothers?
1. James and Jude were most assuredly to become influential disciples
2. however, at this point in time, they were not believers! - Jno 7:3-5
3. Acts 1:14 - by this time they are apparently devoted believers
4. but here they are ... acting as loving, concerned brothers who really do not understand His mission
D. The text suggests that the large crowd kept them from getting to Him
1. Lk 8:19 indicates this to be the case
2. so, they sent word that they were outside seeking Him
3. Jesus was in the midst of the multitude teaching when this word came
4. so, there are concern and unbelief present here
II. THE STRANGE QUESTION OF JESUS
A. "Who is my mother, or my brethren?"
1. had Jesus forgotten His own mother and brothers?
2. or, is this the sort of thing which might cause others to think Him mad?
3. this question had an important point which Jesus had to make
B. There is a relationship which must supersede physical relationships!
1. Mt 12:49 - in answer to His own question Jesus identified His disciples
2. so, spiritual relationships (in Christ) supersede physical ones
3. is it unusual for there to be relationship which are closer than blood ties?
C. Think about Mt 10:21,34-37
1. Jesus was very open about what discipleship could mean
2. for those of us reared in families with a history in Christ this may not be such a difficult thing
3. but this can become a harsh reality for those without that history and who choose to become obedient to the gospel
III. TRUE KINSHIP?
A. Mk 3:35 - That person who does the will of God...
1. is His true "relative"
2. Jno 4:24 - Jesus' own purpose was to do the Father's will
3. and notice that He refers to "my Father" at Mt 12:50 - earthly relationships have become secondary as His ministry moves ahead (do you have relationships in Christ which are deeper, stronger than physical ones?)
B. Lk 8:21 - hearing and doing makes one His "relative"
1. I particularly appreciate Luke's account for its inclusion of "hearing"
2. "hearing" alone is not enough - it's the beginning, but it must "do"
3. Mt 7:21 - this was the consistent message of Jesus during His ministry among men!
CLOSE: I suppose the relevant question would be simply, "Are you truly related to Jesus?" You should want to be related to him. So, have you heard and obeyed the will of God? What might that mean? Let me briefly explain. We must believe that Jesus is God's Son. We must repent of our sins. We must confess our faith in Jesus. We must be baptized for the remission of our sins. We must conform our lives to the teaching of Jesus and the inspired writers of the New Testament. This makes us "relatives" of Jesus!
Cecil A. Hutson
19 November 2006
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)