Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Family

In the letter that we most commonly refer to as "the book of mark," Jesus says, "I tell you the truth, no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields - and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first." If your bible has numbers to represent chapters and verses then you can find that in chapter 10, verses 29 thru 31.

How do Christ's words affect our perception of the family. What is family to you, and what are the implications of having hundreds of siblings, hundreds of mothers, and hundreds of homes? Before we can even begin to talk about the value and responsibility to our family, we have to define who our family really is. And as with all such characteristics of our kingdom culture, we must let the words and actions of Christ define us. The world around us likes to say, "family first" and "blood is thicker than water," but when the going gets tough and a choice must be made between self and family, so often the selfish path is taken. When Jesus talks about leaving behind a family, He says it is for the sake of the gospel and His Name, not because they were draining or difficult. The disciples didn't leave fields because they were tough to plow, but because Christ had more life than all the grain in the world could provide.

How do you see family? Do you ever look around at your "brothers" and "sisters" in Christ and wonder why they don't feel like siblings? Have you ever left anything for Christ?


  1. The body of Christ is really important to me; my christian brothers and sisters have helped me through a lot since I moved away from "home." Still, more often that not I struggle with the desire to be selfish. However, recognizing that Jesus didn't come preaching 'self help' and 'comfy-living' is a bold reminder that helps me time and time again.

  2. I think that we do a good job teaching / understanding the facts about who our brothers and sisters are but don't do so good about living it out because we (myself included, mind you) don't know how to. We haven't been taught to. We don't feel like we're siblings because we haven't been taught how to live as a real family in real community. I am coming to the realization that I've been taught to depend in a system of "doing church" that actually keeps us from connecting as siblings, even though it claims to do just the opposite.

    I love that you're asking these questions, Daniel. It was great to see you when you were in Tulsa...I hope you're doing well! Keep asking questions.

  3. Being on an apprentice missionary team, I have definitely seen the idea of 'family'. We are in such close proximity to one another, it gets a little straining at times. I want to say this is like 'real' family, but in truth it is. They might not be my biological brothers or sisters, but we are all related by blood.

    I love so many concepts and ideas Jesus (and the Bible) present, but I get so disillusioned sometimes when I think that they can never be put into real life. I think "that would be awesome if we could just do it". But the thing about Christ is that he had a Gospel for real people, not ideal ones. He was the Quintessential, but he was still the Son of Man. But I can't ask someone else to do what I do not. It starts with me, being a brother to my siblings.

  4. Wow, such a challenge. Isn't it so much easier when the promises are far away in the next life, instead of something to look for and live here in this moment?! I know the truth of this passage though, and have been so so blessed by my "family" that has been given to me in addition to my biological family. I know I have a long way to go in being family to others, to practicing unconditional love, honesty, unpretentiousness, and straight up correction and all the other great parts of a family relationship.