Sunday Morning Sermon
April 23, 2017
Mark 3:20, 21; 31-35
Jesus had a family
The family of Jesus loved him very much. The Bible tells us he had four brothers and some sisters (Matthew 13:55). At first, they followed their older brother (John 2:1, 12), but something drove them apart. If it was hard for the people of Nazareth to accept Jesus as the Christ, think how much harder it must have been for his family to believe that Jesus was the promised Messiah! Unlike the scribes and Pharisees, his family knew Jesus wasn’t a charlatan, but according to Mark 3:21 they said, “He is out of his mind” and they came to take him home.
There are only three opinions you can have about the claims of Jesus. Either he was who he said he was, in which case Jesus is the Son of God, or he knew what he claimed was false, in which case Jesus was a liar, or Jesus believed his claim, but he was deluded in which case he was insane. Bernard Ramm put it this way: Jesus is either Lord, liar or lunatic.
In this passage, Jesus again teaches us how to deal with rejection (he never stopped loving his family), but more importantly, Jesus taught that his disciples would be a spiritual family.
“The new model of family is not biological kinship but adoption. Sometimes our biological kinfolk desert and betray us. Sometimes our own life journeys take us far from kinfolk, or death separates us…. The church must follow Christ by ensuring that no one in the family of faith is familyless – that everyone is adopted into family…. The adoptive family has become the ideal, the model, the witness that there are no limits to God’s ability to create goodness, not even the limits of biology.”
1 Timothy 5:1-2
What do you expect from a family?
What should the family expect from you?
♦ Protect the family name
The Rest of the Story
After the resurrection, the family of Christ became disciples (Acts 1:14). Why? Paul tells us Jesus appeared to his younger brother James (1 Corinthians 15:7)! Wouldn’t you like to know more about that appearance? From that point on the family of Christ were unshakable followers of Jesus. James and Jude penned letters that are a part of our New Testament and James became an outspoken leader among the Jewish Christians (Acts 12:17; 15:13 ff.; 21:18 ff.).
Welcome to the Family!
Some Things to Think About
♦ Why would it be so hard for Jesus’ family to believe he was the Son of God?
♦ What evidence do you think convinced his brothers that he really was the promised Messiah?
♦ What should we expect from our families?
♦ What should our families expect from us?
♦ How does that help you understand being a part of the family of God?
- John quoted Diana Garland in the lesson this morning: “No one in the family of faith is familyless,” but some people still feel like outsiders. Think of something you can do this week to change that.
If you have any questions about this week’s lesson, or you’d just like to talk, please call John (xxx-xxx-xxxx) or drop him an email:
 Diana Garland, Family Ministry, quoted in The Strategically Small Church, p. 130.