The greatest blessings in my life are my family, my parents, brothers and sisters, my wife, my children and their husbands and my grandchildren…as well as my close friends. I desire to be with them because they lift me up, they support me and I am comfortable with them. In these next verses in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus’ family comes on the scene seeking to help Jesus, at least in their own minds. Jesus is surrounded by crowds of people….they probably think He is a little crazy (lol, those who know us well often think we are a little crazy, don’t they!).
Mark 3:31-35 (TNIV)
31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.” 33 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked. 34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”
We desire to be surrounded by people around us that are uplifting….Jesus wants us ALSO to surround ourselves those who need to be encouraged and lifted up, the unfortunate, the disabled and the sick.
We desire to be surrounded by people who will help us get ahead……Jesus wants us ALSO to surround ourselves with and encourage those struggling to get ahead…the poor, the disenfranchised, foreigners to our land (Yeah, I know that fly’s in the face of the political climate of today…oh well….can’t change Jesus!)
We desire to be surrounded by those we enjoy on a more intimate basis……Jesus wants us also to reach out to whomever God places in our path. Millions of people still don’t know Him or have what many of us have in a relationship with Him…..we are called to share Jesus, not keep Him to ourselves.
We desire the comfort of our family and selected friends……..Jesus desires everyone to be in the family of God!
CHURCH IS EXACTLTY THAT….the family of God….not the buildings and places we meet. What if we truly welcomed everyone into our family……not just people we “desired” to be around?
What if you were somewhat different from others, maybe all tattooed up, pierced, dark…..and you found a place that people looked beyond that and into your heart first?
What if you were disabled or scarred in some way….and you found a place where people looked beyond that and into your heart, and wanted to see you as you really are?
What if you had little, were poor, and it was so obvious that it made you feel insecure…..but you found a place that people looked beyond that, and they wanted to encourage you, help, and to be a friend?
What if you had so much crud in your background, addiction, prison, that you felt like no one would ever welcome you in….and you wanted to change……and you found a place where people greeted you with open arms, wanted to get to know you and encourage you?
THAT IS WHAT CHURCH IS…THAT IS WHO JESUS IS! Church is US….the people, with all of our challenges, crud and imperfections……just people who are in love with our creator, our Father. God’s family is accepting and doesn’t exclude anyone. Jesus did not show partiality; he allowed everyone the privilege of obeying God and becoming part of his family.
The founding pastor at LifePoint Christian Church, Pastor Steve Swan, used to proclaim quite often, “We are simply a family of imperfect people loving a perfect God!”.
What if you were doing okay in life, you have made good choices, and everything is comfortable……and God blessed you with sharing His love with those who needed to know Him…those who haven’t had such an easy time of it?
THAT IS WHAT CHURCH IS…THAT IS WHO JESUS IS…..and that is who Jesus wants us to be……loving, encouraging, uplifting…..spreading HIS love as well as ours. The church can give the loving, personalized care that people find nowhere else. YOU SEE……God’s family…THE CHURCH….is the hope of the world……let us always be the hands and feet of Jesus, let us always embrace all whom God places in our path and may we always bring people to head of the church……Jesus Himself!