46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”

48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Matt 12:46-50 (NIV)

Just as living in a garage will not make us a car, neither will familial relationships – born into a family of faith - nor acting out mere formal religion make us true disciples of the Lord Jesus. These things perhaps may be used to point us to the Truth but they are not to be our assurance that we have taken hold of it as they alone cannot obtain merit before a holy God. It is only through faith in the Lord Jesus that one is cleansed and has a right standing with our Maker. This faith in Christ will produce eternal works in keeping with true repentance just as naturally as an apple tree produces an apple. It is not what believer’s muster up it is what they flesh out - that which is within them – the good fruit of the Holy Spirit. This good fruit is never produced by our own abilities rather by the Root from which we draw the Holy Spirit’s all achieving power. Jesus’ Words in John come to mind:

14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. John 15:14-16 (NIV)

Jesus makes this point in our verses for today. It is only those who do the will of His Father in heaven that are rightly related to the Savior. It is those being dominated by His dominance – those being filled to the measure with the fullness of God and this remaining an ever continuing growth process. We never “get there” in this fallen world – we never fully comprehend God (to say the least) but we can inch closer and closer in our understandings. Remember, the more we know Him, the more we love Him and the more we love Him, the more we trust Him and desire to serve Him. I am reminded of Paul’s prayer in Ephesians:

16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Eph 3:16-19 (NIV)

Too often we, as Christians, want to blend with this world, hesitant to take a stand for Truth yet eager to be embraced by family, peers or religion. Basically, we do not want to stand out by standing up. The idea that we may appear foolish or ridiculous is simply unappealing to our flesh. We often prefer blending – drawing little or no attention to ourselves regarding our walks of faith. We remain silent when we should speak; disobedient when we should act; often or totally disregarding the Holy Spirit’s nudging and leading - seeking rather to go our own ways and expecting God to bless our efforts.

The Bible, on the other hand, is full of people that looked foolish to the world. How about believing God - as did Abraham - in your ninety year old wife being able to conceive and give birth to a child? Or what about Noah, in obedience building an ark with no water in sight and it had never even rained? Certainly Joshua had to have seemed foolish in simply marching around the walls of Jericho for them to fall. The list from Scripture could go on and on ending in the seemingly to the world most foolish being the cross of Christ. It had to have looked absurd yet it was the infinite wisdom and plan of God (Hallelujah!) to save the souls of men. Indeed, being trail blazers in God’s kingdom can look as foolishness to the world. Remember Jesus’ place was to suffer outside the camp – away from the embrace of the world rather a place of scorn – a place filled with criminals and diseased and outcasts – just as we all are, by the way, before Christ. As His followers that is to be our place as well:

12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. 13 Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. 14 For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. Heb 13:12-14 (NIV)

“The true Christian cannot be hid, he cannot escape notice. A man truly living and functioning as a Christian will stand out. He will be like salt; he will be like a city set on a hill, a candle set upon a candlestick. But we can also add this further word. The true Christian does not even desire to hide his light. He sees how ridiculous it is to claim to be a Christian and yet deliberately to try to hide the fact. A man who truly realizes what it means to be a Christian, who realizes all that the grace of God has meant to him and done for him, and understands that, ultimately, God has done this in order that he may influence others, is a man who cannot conceal it. Not only that; he does not desire to conceal it, because he argues thus, ‘Ultimately the object and purpose of it all is that I might be functioning in this way’.” Martin Lloyd-Jones

What I Glean

  • The Holy Spirit produces any eternal fruit coming from my life. Apart from Jesus I can do nothing of eternal value.
  • Those who do the will of the Father in heaven are rightly related to Jesus.
  • In following God’s command they may appear foolish to man yet it is never foolishness to God.