Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.
Verse 50 (NIV)
The word community is for me a warm and friendly word. For sure there are different levels of community: my church community, my immediate neighbourhood community, the larger community of our town. There are cultural communities, ethnic communities and many more.
When I think about church community I think about our relationships. I love the concept of people gathering together for the purposes of accountability, learning, fellowship, and mission. Besides, it’s in the Bible, so it’s got to be good!
Jesus was teaching a group of people about faith, the kingdom, and discipleship. While he was talking to the crowd, his own family came to speak to him. But instead of dropping everything and talking to them, Jesus continued teaching, and he even used his family as an example. “Who is my family?” he asked. In effect, it is “Those who do the will of my Father in heaven – they are my family.”
Was Jesus denying his biological family here? No, but he was not going to put them ahead of doing the will of God.
Jesus redefined family and community here in a radical way. Instead of simply being a gathering of relatives or like-minded neighbors, the community became people we gather with for the purpose of faith, mission, and challenge in living for God.
Who is your family? Who holds you accountable to God’s purposes in life, and who walks alongside you in both good and bad times? With whom do you gather for the purposes of faith-building, mission, and challenge? Wherever you find those people, there is your family – the community of God.
Who is the community that needs to know that you love Jesus and care about them? How do we show the love of Jesus in practical, everyday ways? Are we ready to respond in those critical moments that happen in the lives of our friends? Expand your community. Embrace those who live near you. Be salt and light in your community.
Father thank you for the community of faith that supports me. Open my heart to expand the community around me. In Jesus Name. Amen