|Volume 23 Number 1 January 2021
Many people all around the world today are lonely and desire to be a part of a real family. They do not have families. For some reason or another, their families are gone. Jesus had a family in the physical sense, yet His family rejected Him at the beginning. Instead, He invites you and everyone else to be a part of a different family.
Who belongs to the family of Jesus? Who does Jesus consider to be the most special to Him? Who gets the priority of Jesus’ attention?
In Mark 3:35, Jesus said, “For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.” The relationship of Jesus’ real family revolves around a person’s obedience to His Father. Jesus made it clear that He will choose those who obey God above any physical bond on this earth. John 1:12-13 reads, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Jesus elsewhere said that this birth comes by water and the Spirit – baptism. May I encourage you to be a part of the family – to obey God? If you have become obedient to God, may I welcome you to the family?
Jesus often encouraged His followers to be careful about certain things. We read words like “take heed,” meaning pay close attention to this. In Matthew 7, He warned to be careful how one judges. In Mark 4, our Lord said, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given.” Jesus encouraged people who hear Him to judge, to understand and to measure what they hear, but to do so carefully because it will be measured to them the same way.
We have to be careful how we hear. We must be careful what we hear. Yet, we must hear and judge based upon the Word of God. Take heed what you hear today.
Pointing People to Jesus
The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” [which means Teacher], “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” [which means Christ]. He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas” [which means Peter].” (John 1:35-42)
It is interesting to see how people came to know Jesus in the days before He started His full ministry. They did not hear His sermons or see His miracles, but they simply were introduced by those who already knew Him.
Andrew learned of Jesus from John the Immerser; Peter learned of Him from Andrew his brother. In the following verses, Jesus found Philip (sometimes thought to be the other of the two disciples mentioned here), who afterward found and told Nathaniel of the Christ. Those who came to know Who Jesus was in the early days were led to him by others.
The same holds true today. For the overwhelming majority of people, if they are led to the knowledge of Christ, His church and His covenant, it is by friends and family members. Occasionally, it will be by sheer will and purpose of an individual’s heart, but often it is because someone who knows that person took the time to teach him or her and point that one to Jesus. Who are you pointing to Jesus?
Aaron Cozort preaches for the Church of Christ in Collierville, Tennessee, USA. Starting in 2021, he is also the Internet consultant for and a partner in the production and circulation of Gospel Gazette Online.