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Family and Obedience

Deep within the human heart is the innate desire to belong to a person and/or a cause, which thankfully is fulfilled through the works of Jesus Christ, and not us. In scripture, we clearly see God lay out what we need to do to be a part of His family and His mission; thus, fulfilling the desires of our hearts. Let’s take a step back and see exactly how God shows us how we can be a part of His family. Specifically, and more importantly for the sake of this blog, let’s examine what it looks like to be in His family in addition to going out and remaining in the desires of the Lord to continue His son’s very mission when He was here on earth.

In the Old Testament, the Lord spoke to His people through revelation and word through the prophets. In the New Testament, the Lord has spoken to us by His son (Hebrews 1:1-3). The Bible is loaded with truths of Jesus being the fullness of deity like Colossians 2:9, to help us make the connection that if Jesus says it, God is saying it. How? This is because Jesus was fully man and fully God (Philippians 2:5-11). Therefore, when we read Jesus’ views of family, we can wholeheartedly believe it to be words of the Lord. So, what does the Lord say about family?

Very quickly after Jesus enters the picture, we see His care for the heart of others. Jesus is a man who shows deep emotion and is a man who shows us that He deeply cares for us and wants us to be with Him. How do we know this to be true? How can someone as perfect as Jesus care enough about me to want me to be a part of His family? We know this by examining and listening to Jesus actions and words to those around Him in the gospels. Jesus would sit and eat with those who were viewed as the lowest of the low. The rejected. The frowned upon. The “unclean”. The lonely.

One of my all-time favorite passages in scripture is Mark 2:15. Here we see Jesus RECLINING with the sinners and tax collectors. It is so mind boggling to me, that the King of the universe is just casually “reclining” at a table. I mean try and imagine and wrap your head around Jesus in front of you right now, kicking back in the chair across from you, eating some food and talking with you, wanting you to show Him your heart. What I love even more about the verse, is that those who were with Him were reclining as well. Jesus sets the tone for us. We can be ourselves around Jesus because He is Himself around us. Jesus sets the tone for what He desires His family to be like.

Just as much as Jesus displayed His desire for a family through His actions, we see this same desire through His words. One passage where Jesus focuses on family, as Garrett focused on during his message on Wednesday night, is Matthew 12:46-50. We see this same occurrence in the other gospels in Mark 3:31-35 and Luke 8:19-21. This occurrence is not in the gospel of John. When we look at all three of these passages, we can conclude that those who Jesus sees as His family are those who hear His words, put them into practice, and who are obedient to Him and His commands. Jesus does not only desire to seek you and relate with you, but He even more so desires for you to seek and obey Him by your actions and your words. For Jesus, obedience and family must be coexistent. The truth for being qualified and accepted in His family is displayed throughout scripture, but the evidence of being in His family is your obedience and devotion to Him.

The thing is, when we taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8), obeying Him becomes a deep desire of our own to please and love the Lord in all we do. Loving the Lord and obeying His commands are inseparable (John 14:21). Jesus has already welcomed us into His family and has displayed what He desires a family to look like. When we abide in Him and obey Him, His family is formed to what He intended it to be. So, go out and be like Christ, inviting others into this great family.

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