stick-family

No matter how bad your family is it could always be worse.

Right?

I mean, how many of us have had to deal with Dad chopping off our hands with an ancient-yet-futuristic weapon?

Luke Loses His Hand

While we may not have had to face something so extreme, we can still admit that relatives can fail us.

Blood may be thicker than water, but what do you do when blood turns on you?

This is what Jesus encountered with his own family. His mother and brothers came to “collect him” – they were shamed by his public behavior – and so they tried to label him as crazy. Just quietly put Jesus away so our family doesn’t have to deal with the embarrassment of having him run around ticking off the religious leaders.

But Jesus rejected them.

Instead, he formed a new family – a spiritual family.

“Who are my mother and my brothers? Those who do the will of God are my mother and my brothers.”

Blood may be thicker than water, but the Spirit of God is thicker than blood. And so Jesus formed a new kinship group. It’s not about our ties through blood. Now it’s about our ties through a common faith in Jesus.

While you don’t hear it too much anymore, Christians once referred to one another and Brother so-and-so or Sister so-and-so. It represented the new kinship group Christians embraced.

We too often forget that we’re part of this family. We still treat each other as “other than.” We gossip about each other and treat each other like strangers, not like family. When we fully embrace Jesus’ radical view of a spiritual family it will change how we treat each other, talk to each other, and talk ABOUT each other.

When we fully embrace Jesus’ radical view of a spiritual family it will play out in how we take care of each other. Dealing with some housing difficulties, a woman in our church was told by two different families, “You and your kids can stay with us until you get something worked out.”

This woman then told me, “That’s more than my own family offered to do.”

I stopped her and said, “No – This IS your family.”

Let’s live like the community Jesus calls us to be – a new kind of family, bonded together with bonds stronger than blood.