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The Lord Your Healer: 

Discover Him and Find His Healing Touch by Paul J. Bucknell

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Discover Him and Find His Healing Touch

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Overcoming Anxiety: Finding Peace, Discovering God

 

Walking with Christ: Abiding in Christ

The Family of Jesus
Mark 3:31-35

Abiding in Christ: Walking in Jesus

Paul J. Bucknell

The Family of JesusThis passage tends to shock its readers because it stands between the sacred and unsacred. We all have beliefs that hide below our awareness level.

Many of us are not aware of these things. They just happen. The crowd here made the normal accomodation for this special request. They stood aside so Jesus could attend the matter. There was a social protocol. If you or I were part of this crowd, wouldn't we do the same thing as they?


31 And His mother and His brothers arrived, and standing outside they sent word to Him, and called Him. 32 And a multitude was sitting around Him, and they said to Him, "Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are outside looking for You." 33 And answering them, He said, "Who are My mother and My brothers?" 34 And looking about on those who were sitting around Him, He said, "Behold, My mother and My brothers! 35 "For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother." (Mark 3:31-35, NASB).


Jesus was expected to pay special attention to the arrival of His family members. We are not speaking about a formal situation such as interrupting a public speaker or radio announcer. The crowd discerned this too. They brought the situation of His family standing outside right to His notice. The place was crowded. We are not sure where He was, but evidently Jesus was inside with a great crowd. This left His mother and brothers standing outside. Jesus did not carry a cell phone. His family had no easy or clear way to get in touch with Him. The undergirding belief that the crowd operated upon was that family members have priority relationship over others. For this reason, the crowd would let Jesus know they were there.

What was Jesus' options? He could have taken a break and gone see to them. Or if He was in the middle of a message, He certainly could have passed a message on telling them that He would be with them shortly. They would have understood. Family is important. Jesus' answer, however, did not seem to acknowledge this priority, at least on first reflection. Jesus' answer no doubt surprised His hearers, His family and us readers. The more we think through His answer, however, we find that He indeed did understand and accept the importance of caring for family members.

The question was how big was Jesus' family. In Mark 1:1 we read that Jesus was the Son of God. He came to earth to accomplish His mission. In a sense we see that all of mankind was related to Him because they were all related to God through Adam, the son of God (cf. Luke 3:38).

In a sense, we all are related to each other. Jesus was not lowering His care for His family but helping them all to understand how big His family really was. These were not just strangers out there. They were not some mere number or strange patron. Each of them stood in the important line of man which He now was part of. Jesus, however, did add an important qualifying word.

Jesus said, "For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother." He stepped back from saying everyone was part of His family. We cannot say He would equally identify with everyone on earth. Adam could but He as the second Adam was forming a new family. Only those who are born from above can enter into the kingdom of God. Jesus chose the words "whoever does the will of God" to summarize the characterization of His family members. These words bring powerful applications to our lives.

Exclusivity

Those that do not carry out God's will are not part of Jesus' family or God's kingdom. We are not part of what counts unless we belong to Jesus' family. We might be near Him. We might have heard Him. But unless we are part of His family, we will stand as lonely strangers into eternity. We will hear the laughter, the warmth, the love – but not be part of it.

Characteristics

We also need to note how Jesus described His family members. They do God's will. One might say it is in their blood to do God's will. They love to do what God desires. We should acknowledge that those who call God Father but do not do His will betray their true heritage. They themselves belong to another family. They do not belong to Jesus' family, the family of God.

God's timing for this message struck hard at my heart. He is testing me for compromise. These tests have been coming fast and furious. Actually there have not been a lot of them; they only seem that way because of the intense battle in my heart. They are cases which ask me, "Do I do God's will?" I say I am His, but do I really do His will?


What first comes to my mind is how I recently failed. I planned poorly and did not allow the proper time and worship with the Lord on His day. Yes, I did listen to five sermons on our long ride home. But I did not assure my wife and children the same feeding and concentration they might otherwise have received if I more carefully worked out my schedule.

Now again, it seems that I have no way of resolving this tension for a class that others have scheduled for my wife and me. I say I really want to do God's will, but then let myself do those things I have no peace about doing on the Lord's Day. The culture is squeezing me into compromise. Where does one stop?!

My soul was in great turmoil and anguish. I just couldn't see a way to resolve it.

  • On the one hand, my wife is in her seventh month of pregnancy. She doesn't want to change who will care for her delivery. I knew how important that was to her. We didn't have insurance. We didn't have money for a 'normal' birth delivery.

  • On the other hand, I cared for God. I know He didn't want me distracted from the Lord's Day with a class that was required on Sunday. He was asking me not to compromise. He was testing me to see if I would do God's will.

God helped strengthen my faith and clarity of His will. Even in my devotional time, He was speaking through David in 1 Samuel. In chapter 20 God miraculously protected David. However, in chapter 21 he compromised. In the pressure he lied and acted like a mad man. He relied on his own resources. The consequence of lying destroyed a village of priests (chapter 22). I didn't want to compromise. But what could I do?

Despite all the pressure, I called the special medical class' teacher and spoke my concerns about having the class on the Lord's Day. Without this class, though, we would not be able to have this baby at home. We would have no place for the baby to be born! We had no money for back up plans.

Today, I got a call back from the nurse. She said she was willing to teach us at home for just a bit more money at our convenience. I am so glad that God resolved what I truly felt as unresolveable.

I cried out to God to help me to both obey Him and care for my wife. God resolved the unresolvable to His glory. I do desire to do all His will. I delight in being part of Jesus' family.

>>The following chapters are part of Abiding in Christ: Walking with Jesus which can be purchased separately or as part of the D#3 Digital Library (a much better deal)!)

Abiding in Christ: Walking with Jesus Series

Walking with Christ: Abiding in Christ

Paul J. Bucknell

The Beginning
John 15:5

The marvelous way the Lord instigated this series.

Impossible Love
Mark 8:1-9

Jesus responded to their needs. The disciples responded to their resources.

Genuine Friendship
John 15:15-16

I don't want my Heavenly Father to treat me the way I treated my son!

A Vial of Love
Mark 14:1-9

Our relationship with God is to take priority over our works.

Following is Not Easy
Mark 10:46-52

I wanted Jesus to be with me, but I didn't really want to be with Him.

Listening Carefully
Mark 7:17-18

The Lord wants me to sit down and listen to Him.

A Faith that Counts

I was not sure how many prayers I have absolutely wasted.

Staying Focused
Matthew 15:21-28

Jesus found these planned retreats can be rudely interrupted.

Discovering Treasures
Mark 10:21-27

What were they amazed and later astonished at?

Worth it all!
Mark 10:28-31

His disciples would often if not always be required to make a sacrifice of one kind or another.

The Capsizing of Religion
Mark 3:1-6

Many churches just wouldn't want Jesus attend!

Family of Jesus
Mark 3.31-35

If you or I were part of this crowd, wouldn't we do the same thing as they?

(The following chapters are part of the full book which can be purchased separately or as part of the D#3 Digital Library.)

Abiding in Christ: Walking with Jesus by Paul J. Bucknell

Growing Confidence in Jesus
Mark 7:31-37

What Jesus I am following?

A Word on Christian Suffering
John 15:1-2

We didn't do anything wrong to deserve such pruning! John 15:1-2

Genuine Worship
Mark 12:28-34

Anything not built on this one command is best left in the periphery of life.

Dreams to Dust 911
Mark 13:1-3

Jesus felt compelled to take their dreams to the dust.

A Faith of Action
Mark 11:27-33

The world starts getting concerned when the church starts practicing its faith.

The Felling of Fame
Mark 2:1-2

Stopped in my tracks. Time to deal with my desire for fame.

Perspective on Worry
Luke 12:25-26

We are really surprised at Jesus' comments about our worry.

Overcome Fear of Man
Mark 11:27-39

Outnumbered. Outflanked. Out-educated. Compromise was begging Jesus to conform for acceptance.