I believe one of the hardest things to consider this week is the idea of dying to our relationships. It is hard because the people we love and cherish are the very ones Jesus calls us to die to. However, as we will see once again, it will be in our dying to the very relationships we value the most, that will allow Christ to enable us to experience the most important relationship of all—a relationship with His Father. It will be from this relationship with God that will allow us to experience even greater depth of love for all our other earthly relationships.
“He was still speaking to the crowds when suddenly His mother and brothers were standing outside wanting to speak to Him. Someone told Him, ‘Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to You.’
But He replied to the one who told Him, ‘Who is my mother and who is My brothers?’ And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, ‘Here are my mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven, that person is My brother and sister and mother.” Matthew 12:46-50
Here Jesus makes a most intriguing announcement to those around Him. When approached with the fact His earthly mother and brothers want to speak to Him, He simply asks the question, “Who is My mother and who is My brother? Knowing the ones who questioned Him would be thinking He was crazy since they knew who had given birth to Him and who His biological brothers were, Jesus answers His own question. Jesus points to his mother and brothers and it is not who they were expecting. Jesus points to all those around Him who are doing the will of His Father in heaven. Does this seem odd to you?
Jesus was not saying His earthly mother and brothers were not doing His Father’s will, He was simply making it clear His biological, earthly relationships, while they were important, were not the ones that were going to last for eternity unless they too had a relationship with God.
How was Jesus able to forsake His ties to His earthly family?
Jesus did not have to go and find His mother or brothers. He already had the ultimate relationship with the One who provided His earthly relationships to start with. Christ was free to love and cherish His earthly mother and brothers in a way that would be impossible apart from His relationship with His Father God. The bond between Jesus and His Heavenly Father enabled Jesus to live and give much more to those around Him than if He had just sought to please His earthly relationships.
When we do not whole heartedly love the Lord our God, with all our heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind then we will never be able to truly love all our other relationships God has so richly blessed us with the way God intends for us to. Our relationships here on earth simply become mere substitutes for the true relationship God desires to have with us. Today may we not place any relationship above the one and only relationship that will allow us to truly live.