Mark 3:31-35 – The True Kindred of Jesus
Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.” And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”
This is not one of my favorite passages in the Gospels. It just doesn’t feel “right.” I get this image in my mind of Jesus surrounded by his followers with his mother and brothers looking in from the open door and him opening his arms up to those around him and his family being left behind. I wonder if that’s exactly how it went down, but it challenges in a big way regardless. There are a lot of ways that I have heard this passage explained away – none of which are honestly entirely satisfying to me. Regardless, there is one aspect of this passage that does resonate and ring true to me – the truth of the widening of what family is with the Kingdom of God.
I am so blessed with my parents and sister with whom I grew up, the extended family that has been a part of my life, and the expanding of family with my dear wife and children. Over the years, there have been others who have become a part of my “family” – deal people who I consider to be brothers and sisters who have been through so much with me.
If I were to put together a genogram (here is Wikipedia’s description of a genogram – I use this tool in all of my premarital sessions with couples) today (a really simple version of one is pictured), it would be a beautiful mess – the immediate family and the relationships therein surrounded and connected to the new family that we are a part of in the Kingdom of God. I am thankful for this extended family that we have in the Kingdom as it allows us to have a community with which we can celebrate, enjoy, grieve, cry, and share life.