Practical Proverbial, from Mark, 21 January 2015

Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.” “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked. Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” Mark 3, verses 31-35.

It’s my privilege to be part of several groups of people who are just about the best people you could know. Now, I’m sure we can all say that about the friends closest to us, and that’s a good thing, a real blessing.   I am fortunate to say that there are two groups with whom I keep in contact that I think of quite literally as family. One is my shipmates from the three years I spent at sea while I was in the Air Force; yes, you read that right. We keep in touch mostly on Facebook and email, but I have several phone numbers and we’ll occasionally catch up that way as well.   The other group is the small group of men with whom I worked at an obscure assignment in Colorado Springs.   We did systems work together, and we were part of a self-appointed elite group who felt we were doing the best work anywhere in addition to actually being the best anywhere.   Personally, I’d stack the folks in either of these groups against ISIS and we’d leave those Islamo-Nazi lunatics in a pile of confused and hurting refuse when we finished with them at a time of our own choosing.

My friends, they’re my brother and sister and mother.

Now, it’s a very safe bet to assume that Jesus wasn’t talking about militarily vanquishing a group of Muslim fanatics.   But I think you can understand my analogy.   I’ve been privileged to call good people ‘friend’ and ‘brother,’ and I’ve been privileged to do so both in and out of church settings.  During several overseas mission trips I grew close to the men and women with whom I traveled.   Perhaps they’re closer to the idea Jesus was conveying, yet there’s something about having served in the military, having been ordinary people doing extraordinary things that draws you together.

Yet if you think about it, in following Jesus, you’re an ordinary person doing something extraordinary.   You’ve staked your claim on something that the world sees as illogical and childish.  You’re like the disciples, who were ordinary ‘nobodies’ who lived extraordinary lives in service of the Savior.  You’re the kind of person Jesus is looking for.   Jesus is looking for His own martial group; a group who, to quote the Founding Fathers, will pledge their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor in His service.   Jesus wants people who will fight their temptations and fight off the world to stand up for Him, to carry His message to others, and to do His work in a world that really needs Him.

Chances are, when you find yourself in a group of like-minded Jesus followers, you’re going to quickly realize that they are your brother, mother, and sister.  They’re family to you because we are all family in Him.   That’s the biggest part of His message in these verses.

Jesus, you’re my brother, God, Savior, creator and friend. Let me be as close to others as You are to me so that I can represent you honorably to them.

Read Mark 3, verses 31-35.

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